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Residents in Aldham, near Hadleigh, feel ‘abandoned’ as prolonged road closure continues





The disruption of a prolonged road closure, due to a storm-related collapse, has left villagers feeling abandoned by their county council, as businesses experience a huge drop in footfall.

A section of The Street in Aldham, near Hadleigh, has been shut since November 20, after the side of the road gave way.

Despite the initial target of reopening in time for Christmas, Suffolk Highways has extended the closure because of safety concerns, following further deterioration of the carriageway.

The Street, in Aldham, near Hadleigh, will remain shut for the next few months after it collapsed in November. Picture: Jenni Green
The Street, in Aldham, near Hadleigh, will remain shut for the next few months after it collapsed in November. Picture: Jenni Green

This had resulted in major disruption for traffic travelling to and from both Elmsett and Aldham, with local residents, businesses and councillors alike bemoaning the rate of progress on the repair works.

The impact has already seen Elmsett Village Stores placed up for sale, following a drop in income of more than 30 per cent since November.

Leigh Jamieson, leader of the Green group on Babergh District Council, said: “The ongoing delays to the repair of the main road from Aldham to Hadleigh is unacceptable.

“Elmsett and Aldham are feeling abandoned by the county council, whose apparent lack of urgency is causing financial hardship to businesses in the villages, and distress to the residents.

“Already, the village shop has gone up for sale, and we fear other businesses are set to follow if nothing is done.”

On Thursday, Suffolk Highways issued an update, in which the authority apologised for the disruption and pledged to prioritise reopening the road as soon as possible.

However, it also acknowledged the repairs may not be complete until early summer.

A highways spokesman said: “We understand the inconvenience being caused by the closure, and will continue to look for opportunities to complete the work sooner.

“Due to the severity of the collapse at The Street, a simple repair won’t suffice and a full investigation, design and plan for delivery needs to be undertaken to ensure the road can safely open to all highway users.

“The road is at risk of further deterioration. Therefore, a closure will need to remain in place until the work is completed to ensure the safety of road users.

“Other traffic management methods, such as traffic lights, were considered – however, due to the size of the collapse and the width of the road, this isn’t possible.”