Traders hit out after ‘double kick in teeth’

Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.
Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.

Disgruntled traders fear their businesses will suffer after discovering that a sudden removal of advertising signs at an industrial estate will be followed by a temporary road closure blocking off an important access route to the site.

Tensions are so high, that Mark Breeze, of Breeze Bikes, fears that the ‘double kick in the teeth’ could be the ‘final straw’ for his company, while Jonathan Priest, from North East Kayaks, believes sales will drop dramatically.

And businesses on Amble’s Coquet Enterprise Park claim they were not consulted about the clearance of their display boards last week or the fact that the road leading to the estate, off the well-used A1068, which provides a regular source of passing trade, is due to be closed in March for three months.

It will be shut to allow for the construction of a roundabout and drainage installation works, as part of Persimmon Homes’ housing scheme at nearby Marks Bridge.

While there will still be access to the site from an alternative entrance, via Percy Drive, traders are calling for signs to be installed to inform potential customers that it will be business as usual and flag up the alternative route.

The traders are holding a meeting on Tuesday at 5.15pm at North East Kayaks to discuss their next move.

The closure order is set to be effective from March 9 until June 30. The road is expected to be closed until June 12.

Northumberland County Council said it did not have to consult by law for a temporary road closure and a letter would be issued by the applicant closer to the time, which would include access arrangements during the works.

A spokesman said: “A request for additional signage informing people that the business park is open as usual can be provided upon request by contacting our streetworks department.”

Of the removal of advertising signage on the approach to the site, the spokesman added: “An inspection was carried out after reports from the public about these signs on the highway at the A1068. They had been placed without consent and potentially caused a health and safety risk to road users and the public.”