Bridge closure hits pub hard

The landlord of a village pub has called for last orders to be rung on roadworks which have hit his business hard.

Friday, 31st March 2017, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:01 pm
Landlord of the Black Horse, Nassington Gary Johnson with the road closure signs outside his pub EMN-170329-132203009

Gary Johnson, who runs the Black Horse pub in Nassington, said the closure of Fotheringhay Road had dramatically reduced the amount of passing trade.

The road was closed after a collision caused damage to the Woodnewton Bridge on the road. The barrier on the side of the bridge was destroyed in the incident.

The two car crash happened on February 2, with a detour being set up via Oundle Road.

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Mr Johnson said: “It has been a nightmare. The road was closed in February, and we are told it won’t be opened until June.

“It is getting worse and worse. We do get the odd busy day - Mother’s Day was good - but we only had nine people on Friday night. It has also hit lunch times and early in the week hard. We are about 40 per cent down on last year, and I know other businesses in the village have been hit hard as well.

“It has affected our staff as well.

“This is my third year here, and every year my beer sales have gone up, my food sales have gone up. We took this pub from the bottom, and have made it a success, but this is difficult.

“It is a tough time to run a pub at the moment anyway, without something like this.

“In this day and age I would have thought they could have got this fixed sooner.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The bridge over Willow Brook, just outside Fotheringhay on the road to Nassington, was badly damaged in February and closed for safety reasons.

“The bridge is very narrow and it is too dangerous to have the road open, even for restricted traffic.

“When undertaking any works on or around structures of this nature there are a number of activities, procedures and approvals that are required before works can start. Scheme preparation work has commenced to repair the accident-damaged parapet and we will continue our liaison with relevant partners. The current road closure order is valid until the end of June but every effort is being made to complete the works as soon as possible.

“We are unable to provide any compensation during highway works. There are no statutory provisions for payment of such compensation.”