BUSINESSES are being asked to get behind the buzz of the Rugby World Cup coming to Gloucester in 2015.
City event organisers want to close Kingsholm Road on April 12 when the Cherry and Whites play Bath as a dry run for putting on street entertainment during the four international matches next year.
Liz Barnwell, from Marketing Gloucester, who are co-ordinating the city’s events, said: “The idea is to use it as a bit of a dry run for the World Cup and we hope that businesses will get behind that and make the most of it.”
But not every trader agrees with the road closure. Car dealer Geoff Cooper says firms along the road have barely recovered from seven months of road closures for major water works.
Mr Cooper, from Cooper Cowen motor company, said: “We have had to battle through seven months of roadworks down here.
“We rely on a lot of passing trade and many people have decided not to come back down here after all the problems and now they want to close it off again.
“People just won’t want to come here. It is just not on because a lot of people are still struggling to even get any compensation for the water works.
“The rugby club has a big car park which could be used for all this entertainment. We just don’t need it on the road.”
Adam Balding, the city’s Rugby World Cup co-ordinator, said that organisers want to create a party atmosphere across the city to coincide with the matches.
Businesses will be encouraged to get involved by putting on offers for fans, while families will be able to watch the matches from a specially created ‘fanzone’ at Gloucester Docks.
Jason Cooper, from A.C. Belting, also based on Kingsholm Road, said: “Closing the road for the roadworks was one thing – and on that we are back to square one with sorting out the flood defences – but closing it for a day here or there to celebrate is something I would support.
“When I went to the Rugby World Cup it was absolutely buzzing. There was an amazing atmosphere and if we can create a bit of that here next year then it will be a great way to promote Gloucester.
“I know Geoff probably won’t agree with me but if it is done properly it could be a good thing.”
Marketing Gloucester are preparing plans but will need to submit a road closure application to Gloucestershire County Council. The public will then be consulted on it.