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White Hart pub may have to close during A48 roadworks

By The Citizen  |  Posted: September 11, 2013

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COMMUTERS and businesses are horrified by roadworks which will mean thousands of vehicles being diverted away from a major trunk road.

It will mean major delays for motorists, disruption for residents, and a fall in passing trade for businesses.

It will happen next month when Gloucestershire County Council shuts three sections of the A48 in Blakeney and Newnham for much-needed resurfacing.

Sandra Howley, manager of the White Hart pub in Broadoak near Newnham, thinks she could lose between £12,000 and £15,000 from the drop in passing trade and is even considering shutting down for a week.

"Obviously the road needs repairing," she said. "There is not a lot we can do about it – we are going to have to shut for a week. We are going to have a meeting with the highways people but I can't see an easy way around this."

The council said that because of the size of the machinery and for the safety of motorists, residents and staff, the road would be closed between 7am and up to 7.30pm while the work was carried out. It would be reopened in the evenings – maybe as early as 5.30pm.

The first closure between October 7 and 11 will be from the Silver Fox Cafe to the railway bridge at Broadoak.

From October 14 to 25 it will be closed in Blakeney from the Awre Road junction to the Two Bridges junction , then from October 28 to November 1 the A48 will be closed from the Awre Road junction through Blakeney to the end of the 30mph limit.

The diversion route will be signed via the B4234, B4226 and A4151, Speech House and Littledean, but it's feared drivers heading to and from Gloucester will use back lanes to take short cuts to avoid heavy traffic through the heart of the Forest.

Commuter Ian Vessey from Colefore said that could be dangerous to residents.

"There is a danger to people living on those roads with the increased traffic and the diversion will add more time to the commute," he said.

The work in Blakeney has been planned for the half-term school holidays to minimise disruption. Residents and businesses will be kept fully informed of the work.

Coun Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flooding, said: "This is significant work to make sure this busy road is in the best condition it can be for the safety of all road users."

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