Derbyshire pub owners ‘fuming’ about how sudden road closure could hit business

Owners of the Holly Bush Inn,  Alex Wilbraham and Chris Wilbraham.
Owners of the Holly Bush Inn, Alex Wilbraham and Chris Wilbraham.

The owners of a pub in Milford say they are losing trade due to a sudden road closure.

Alex and Chris Wilbraham run the Hollybush Inn, off Makeney Road, which is closed all week.

The closure was put in place by Derbyshire County Council on Monday, April 8 and is due to last until Friday.

The route is well-known in the area as one used by motorists trying to take a shortcut or avoid traffic on the A6.

Signs reading “no through route” and “access only” have been erected at either end of the closure.

Alex and Chris say “no consideration” was given to the impact that the road closure could have on their business.

The couple are angry at how the closure has been handled. Alex said: “Two weeks ago, some signs randomly appeared, nobody knew anything about, including the neighbours. I rang the council and they said that it would be closed for five days for resurfacing – did they not think to let anyone know?

“I was given the number for the foreman and they said that access for businesses would be kept and that there was a lack of notice because the council had seen a last minute injection of money and there were jobs to get in before the end of the year.

“The foreman said that they could put up ‘business as usual signs’ but none of these have been put up. I called the foreman but apparently it has changed to a different person and they couldn’t tell me anything. The thing is, if I get to a road closure sign – even if it says access only – I wouldn’t go down it and people will start avoiding the area, which is what is going to happen here.

“I’m fuming about it. It is going to affect business and people are going to avoid the area.

“At the moment we spend around £3,000 on business rates and we don’t even get any consideration from the council to think about how this could affect our business.

“We have two people in at the moment (at lunch).

“We’ve been told that the road will be open at night and we are hoping that is true because we have a food event on Thursday night.”

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused and hope people will bear with us as we improve the road by carrying out road resurfacing. Signs notifying of the closure with the dates were put up at each end of the affected stretch of road about five weeks ago, letters sent to residents on that stretch and some door-to-door calls were made. We also advertised the closure in the paper. We are sorry that `businesses open as usual’ signs were not put up straight away and we’re putting this right by ensuring they will be up tomorrow.”