Reopened road helped make Easter profitable

Rothbury County councillor Steven Bridgett and county-council cabinet member Coun Ian Swithenbank at the reopened road last Thursday afternoon. Picture by Jane  Coltman
Rothbury County councillor Steven Bridgett and county-council cabinet member Coun Ian Swithenbank at the reopened road last Thursday afternoon. Picture by Jane Coltman

Delighted traders have said that the reopening of a road – which was closed for nearly three-and-a-half years after a landslip – is helping business.

There was relief all-round on Thursday when the B6344 at Crag End, near Rothbury, was brought back into use for the first time since Boxing Day 2012, following a £10million repair job.

The unveiling came the day before the Easter weekend and traders in the village believe it helped contribute to a busy and profitable bank-holiday period.

Morris Adamson, from Rothbury Family Butchers, said: “I am convinced that the road reopening made a big difference. We had a really good Easter – probably one of the best we have had. There was a lot more traffic in the village and a lot more tourists.

“Admittedly, on Friday, the nice weather did help, but the reopening of the road has been great and it is benefitting everybody. Having it open is another string to Rothbury’s bow.”

Sarah Bertram, landlady at the Newcastle House Hotel, agreed. She told the Gazette: “The reopening of the road has certainly created a buzz around the village. We had one of our best Sunday trades at the weekend and that was down to a combination of things – the reopening of the road being part of that. You couldn’t get moved in the village over the Easter weekend because of the volume of people – there was wall-to-wall cars and motorbikes.

“The road reopening will make a big difference and if the Easter weekend signified what we will have for the summer, then every business in Rothbury will do really well.”

Graham Wade, owner of Rothbury Bakery Shop, added: “It was massively busy, especially Good Friday and Easter Monday – certainly more than the past three Easters.

“I would like to say that it was because of the road and time we tell how busy Rothbury will be. I did have a couple of customers who came in over Easter who mentioned the road and said that they hadn’t been coming to Rothbury for three years because the road was closed, but were back because it was reopen.”

Cragside was also toasting a good Easter, attracting 7,000 visitors over the weekend, including 2,300 on Good Friday.

Marketing officer Ellen Glover said: “It was a fantastic Easter weekend. We had to close the gates on Friday for a few minutes. People were coming in both directions with the new road being open.”

Rothbury county councillor Steven Bridgett said: “Having spoken to a number of Rothbury businesses, it seems it was a very good Easter weekend. I think a combination of the bank holiday, the good weather and the B6344 road being reopen contributed to this.”