Road repairs had impact on traders, it is claimed

Road resurfacing in Alnwick town centre.
Road resurfacing in Alnwick town centre.

Alnwick was like a ‘ghost town’ and traders endured a tough time during recent road repairs, it has been claimed.

The town centre was closed to traffic for most of last week as work was being carried out on Bondgate Within.

While Alnwick Chamber of Trade (ACT) chairman Carlo Biagioni said the job was welcome, he admitted that businesses had reported a negative impact on trade.

He said: “The roadworks did make a difference. It was like a ghost town and it was a bit of a nightmare for local traders.”

A few years ago, Christian Perdrier, the-then chief executive of Alnwick Castle and Garden, suggested that pedestrianising the town centre could help traders.

Mr Biagioni believes the evidence of last week demonstrates that a car-free Alnwick wouldn’t work. But he admitted that ACT may again look at creating a pedestrianised stretch between the junction of Narrowgate and Fenkle Street, up towards the east end of Paikes Street – a move which did gain some support when it was discussed in 2010.

He said: “Pedestrianising the centre of Alnwick wouldn’t work for Alnwick and I believe that is the view of the majority of the chamber, but I think the Narrowgate idea could help that stretch.”

Alnwick town and county councillor Gordon Castle said he believed the roadworks had been carried out quickly and effectively and finished ahead of schedule. He said the work was deferred from November to the spring at the request of the chamber of trade, because of the potential impact it could have in the run-up to Christmas.