Mixed feelings on the impact of landslip

The landslip near Rothbury.
The landslip near Rothbury.

Traders in Rothbury have mixed feelings about the impact of a landslip which has closed a main route in to the village.

The worst was feared when the B6344 was closed by a landslip on Boxing Day, meaning motorists travelling from the south had to drive further up the A697 and use the B6341 road.

Some business owners have seen a decline in footfall while others have done alright.

But with the summer season on its way businesses are hoping that tourists still continue to visit as they fear winter will not be good.

Morris Adamson, owner of Rothbury Family Butchers, has said that trade is satisfactory.

“It is going OK and I think things are ticking over nicely at the moment,” he said.

“But the difficulty will be in the winter.

“The road diversion is longer and people will be put off coming here.

“If the winter goes OK we will be all right.

“I don’t think the road is putting people off. It is only an extra 10 minutes on your journey and the scenery across the moors is beautiful. It is a faster road and a bigger road.

“But I am worried about the winter.

“We don’t get as many toursits coming then anyway and I think those that might would shirk at the idea of coming along that road in the winter.”

“Fair play to the council lads last year, they did an amazing job keeping that road open, even in adverse conditions.

“It is a big relief that the money is there to do the work and hopefully they will be able to start as soon as possible.

“We just keep going. Nothing stops us in Rothbury, we just deal with it.”

However some businesses have felt a pinch since the road was closed.

Terry Wilson who runs the Queen’s Head Hotel said: “It has been horrendous.

“One Sunday we only did 50 Sunday lunches where we usually do 120.

“I have spoken to lots of other businesses who have said the same.

“I think the more people that are reminded that there is another way to get in the better.

“The signs on the diversion are rubbish.

“It would be better to put signs further along telling people how many more minutes it is until they get to Rothbury or how many more miles it is.

“I know the businesses in Longframlington have picked up business because of it.”

The £5million from the Department for Transport’s Local Pinch Point Fund will meet most of the cost of fixing the B6344.

It is hoped that Northumberland County Council will meet the other £2.5million, but that is yet to be confirmed.