Restaurant loses walk-in trade after months of roadworks

Ongoing roadworks at the junction of Thorpe Road and Riverside Road 

There have been roadworks at the junction of Thorpe Road and Riverside Road for several months - Credit: Ben Hardy

A restaurant has lost 75pc of customers because of a busy thoroughfare being partially closed from months of roadworks.

Cemal Alby, owner of the Gem of Norwich restaurant, which has reached the number one spot on Tripadv

Cemal Alby, owner of the Gem of Norwich restaurant - Credit: Archant

Cemal Alby, owner of Gem of Norwich in Thorpe Road, near Norwich Railway Station, is looking forward to the reopening because he said the roadworks made the Turkish restaurant appear closed and put off people walking past, including train commuters.

Martin Wilby, Conservative cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport on Norfolk County Council, said the road will fully reopen on July 22 once new traffic signals are working.

Mr Alby said: "We've lost 75pc of trade in the day, mainly from walk-in customers, since the roadworks started. The road has been partially closed for around six months.

"We cannot get big deliveries because large vehicles cannot park nearby."

The restaurant boss said some of the road closures did not make sense as he often did not see people working on certain sections of the roads.

Isabel Blythe, general manager of Coach and Horses pub in Thorpe Road, said: "It is a pain but it has gone on for so long. It is what it is."

She added that the roadworks caused problems for visitors to the city "do not have a scooby" of what is happening in terms of traffic. 

Lesley Grahame, Green Party councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. Pic: Green Party.

Lesley Grahame, Green Party city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet - Credit: Green Party

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Lesley Grahame, Green Party city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet ward, said: "Green councillors want to see the county council take a joined up approach to cycling and bus services across the city.

"We need a city plan for the next 20 years, rather than something piecemeal. I hope that the disruption that residents have had to put up with for such a long time will be worth it. Roads near Riverside Road have been impacted by traffic increasing and we look forward to a reduction in traffic here now."

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Dan

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Wilby said: "I appreciate people’s frustrations with the disruption caused by these projects but am confident the completed scheme will benefit the long term future of our city, its economy and the environment.

"We need to put in the right infrastructure to support more people to walk, cycle and use public transport. This will reduce the pressure on the roads and reduce congestion for all road users."