Storrington trader fears road work business loss

JPCT 200114 S14040533X Gatley's on Barns Farm Lane in Storrington, Robin Duke -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 200114 S14040533X Gatley's on Barns Farm Lane in Storrington, Robin Duke -photo by Steve Cobb

Confusion surrounding a major road closure has left a shop owner ‘annoyed’ and fearing for loss of business.

West Sussex County Council announced on its website that the A283 between Water Lane and Hampers Lane in Storrington will be closed for seven weeks from January 20 to March 9 for highway drainage improvements and flood alleviation.

To control traffic flow the council said it will impose two way traffic signals on a 24-hour operation, with two weekend road closures.

But Robin Duke, owner of Gatley’s Country Store in Barns Farm Lane, Storrington, just off the A283, said he was not informed by the council about the two weekend closures and claimed it could lose his business thousands.

He said: “We heard rumours, but we didn’t know what was going on. In their wisdom the county council had not contacted us and we’re now told they’re going to shut the road completely for two weekends.”

“Saturdays are our main selling day of the week. We had 155 customers last Saturday and we took £4,500 - for two Saturdays that’s £9,000 loss of income.”

Mr Duke, 64, claimed he called the county council for confirmation of the road closure on numerous occasions, but was told the council may take up to ten days to reply.

He said: “I then finally got a call from them and I was told that they were not aware of the two weekend closures at all.”

A spokesperson for the county council confirmed the road closure details are accurate and still going ahead.

“These works are in place and going on as scheduled. We apologise for any inconvenience it causes.

“For reasons of safety, we are closing the road over two weekends. The dates for the closures are February 15 to 16 and 22 to 23, and we will be closing the road at 6am on the Saturday and reopening by 5am on the Monday.”