Suffolk and Norfolk A11 junction closures at weekends

A11 in Norfolk
Image caption The A11 is being dualled between Thetford and Mildenhall

Businesses on the A11 in Suffolk fear three weekends of road closures will mean loss of trade.

Work is taking place on the Fiveways roundabout at Mildenhall as the project to dual the A11 between the roundabout and Thetford in Norfolk continues.

It means traffic between Newmarket and Thetford will be diverted via the A14 and Bury St Edmunds.

Local businesses said they would lose out, but the Highways Agency said there was no compensation for loss-of-trade.

The Highways Agency diversions of up to 11 miles (18km) will be in place from 22:00 BST on Fridays to 06:00 BST on Mondays.

Image caption The roundabout has exits for Mildenhall, Brandon, Thetford, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket

'Avoiding the area'

Wayne Starling, co-owner of The Bull Inn at Barton Mills, said: "We've always relied on passing trade, but we're very concerned about the next three weekends.

"At an [earlier] meeting we were told that if we lost trade there was a pot to make up for it, but four weeks ago the Highways Agency said there wasn't a pot and it was just hard luck.

"Last weekend we had 60 booked for the restaurant on Saturday night and 50 for Sunday lunch and for this weekend we've got just 14 for Saturday and 20 for Sunday, so people are avoiding the area."

John Shaw, who runs Walker Snacks on the nearby A1065, said it would close for the next three weekends.

"I think the work could have been done at night time," he said. "We're going to lose a lot of money."

Geoff Chatfield, from the Highways Agency, said: "We have been doing preparatory work at night, but we've got to the stage where we have to close the roundabout for the weekends to finish off the works.

"Businesses were entitled to compensation if we were taking land, but we're not taking any land in cases like The Bull.

"There won't be any compensation for loss of trade - that is government policy and signs will be in place so people can access local businesses."

The new dual carriageway section on the A11, which is costing £105m, is expected to be finished by December 2014.

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