'We are still open for business' plea from Budleigh traders

PUBLISHED: 12:49 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:57 14 May 2019

West Hill, Budleigh Salterton, is subjected to phased closures. Picture: Dan Wilkins

West Hill, Budleigh Salterton, is subjected to phased closures. Picture: Dan Wilkins

Archant

Road closure signs gave the impression Budleigh Salterton's town centre was off limits causing some businesses to lose trade

Shoppers have been urged to not be put off by signs giving the impression Budleigh Salterton's town centre is closed.

According to traders, road closure signs in East Budleigh road wrongly gave the impression that the town centre is off limits.

These signs have since been removed but chamber of commerce chairman Mike Hilliar claimed they had a negative impact on business in Budleigh.

West Hill, which is on the main route into and out of the town on the west side of Budleigh, is subject to road closures until early June while gas pipe replacement work is being done.

Wales and West Utilities, which is responsible for the works, said it has put up signs which make it clear the town is still open for business.

Mr Hilliar, who is also the manager of the town's tourist information centre, said: "Last week was the worst week in some years.

"It's not great at all - even here at the tourist information centre the figures have been below where they should be and its down to the placement of signage.

"The signs along East Budleigh Road said the road is closed - that's enough to confuse any driver.

"Normally in the high street you can not find anywhere to park, but last week you could have parked anywhere you like.

"Budleigh is unique in that it doesn't have branded businesses, its just family-friendly independent traders.

"Budleigh is very much still open for business."

A spokesman for Wales and West Utilities said: "We are working as safely and as quickly as we can to complete this essential work and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect to be finished by June 11.

"In agreement with Devon County Council, and so that road users, pedestrians and our colleagues are kept safe while we work, a partial road closure is in place with access maintained for local residents.

"'Business Open as Usual' signs are in place and ahead of our work we wrote to all homes and businesses in the area, letting them know what to expect while we are working."

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