Businessman angry over road closure

Chip shop takeaway owner claimed repeated road closures are costing him business and are a ‘waste of public money’.

A CHIP shop owner in Torrington is outraged after hearing the road his business is in will be closed for the second time in two months.

Mike Reed, who owns Kia Ora Takeaway on Well Street, said his business has already suffered after a five-week road closure in October for resurfacing.

But it was only after spotting a public notice in the Gazette Mr Reed then discovered the road was to be closed again in January for sewerage works.

“It is a total waste of public money,” said Mr Reed, who has written to local MP Geoffrey Cox as well as town, district and county councillors about the closure.

“I understand they have to carry out these works but why can’t they coordinate and do it all at once; they have only just tarmacced the road and now they’ll be ripping it up again.

“Around 95 per cent of my business is take away and my customers often pull up outside to grab their fish and chips.

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“I’ve spent 30 years building this business up and I could be losing up to 3-400 a day if my customers can’t get to the shop.

“In the past two-and-a-half years this road has been closed for 70 days and it’s not on.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council said the resurfacing work had to be carried out in October to comply with the requirements of a government grant funding the work.

He said: “While it was known that South West Water (SWW) sewer works were planned for various locations in the town, including Well Street, it was thought that it could be possible for this to be completed using non-excavatory measures.

“Unfortunately, further investigations have revealed that the sewer at this location has collapsed and that some excavation work is necessary and needs to be completed urgently.

“We will be working closely with SWW to ensure the work is carried out as quickly as possible with the minimum of disruption to businesses and the public.”

The road will be closed from January 21, 2013.

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