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Bury St Edmunds Buy The Light shopkeeper counting the cost after Whiting Street springs a leak





A shopkeeper has been left counting the cost after a water leak outside her shop.

Lesley Bancroft, who runs Buy The Light in Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds, says cars constantly driving through the large puddle of water in front of her shop over two weeks, has caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

It echoes concerns of shopkeepers in Risbygate Street, where a water leak also developed and led to two large potholes forming in the road and asphalt being kicked up on to the pavement.

Lesley Bancroft at Buy The Light, Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: Chris Morris
Lesley Bancroft at Buy The Light, Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: Chris Morris

Ms Bancroft said: “Every time a car went past, it would shower the front of the shop. As a result, my front door has warped and bowed and won’t open properly. It’s not exactly very customer-friendly. Also the paint has peeled and the doorstep is damaged.

“My windows frames now all need painting and some of the corner wood has bulged. Many of my customers have complained too about being splashed as the cars drove past, too.”

Ms Bancroft first spotted the leak, which flooded half the road, for around six feet, on January 29. It was fixed overnight on Monday February 12.

Mrs Bancroft says her door now won’t open properly and paint is also peeling on the windows
Mrs Bancroft says her door now won’t open properly and paint is also peeling on the windows

Meanwhile, on February 2, Calvin Watson, who is building a café at 11-13 Risbygate Street, reported a leak outside his building.

“The water actually first started seeping through the road in August,” he said.

“We mentioned it to Anglian Water at the time, but nothing was done. They came out three weeks ago and installed emergency traffic lights but then removed them, and left.

“A week last Monday, it was so bad, it was like a river running 30 feet down the road. An emergency crew was supposed to come out, but never arrived. Two potholes also emerged and reached about two feet wide by the end of the week.

The water leak on Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Robert Robertson
The water leak on Whiting Street, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Robert Robertson

“As cars drove by, and particularly any heavy vehicles, it kicked up asphalt on the pavement, which was dangerous. We were also worried it might smash the windows of the shop next door.”

“Anglian Water came out last Friday and we were told it wasn’t dangerous, even though the water was bubbling up through the potholes at a rate of about 50 litres a minute.”

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said they would be investigating a claim for damage from Ms Bancroft. Risbygate Street meanwhile was partially closed on Monday for repair work.

The leak in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, on Monday
The leak in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, on Monday

The spokesperson added: “We are sorry for any traffic disruption on Risbygate Street. Our teams on site will be working to complete the job and reopen the road as normal as soon as they possibly can.”