Businesses and residents are getting set to count the cost of a pre-Christmas road closure in the Trough of Bowland.
A six mile stretch of the C477 Trough Road from Staple Oak Barn to Sykes Farm is to be closed for up to 10 weeks from October 22 while 15 properties in the village of Dunsop Bridge are connected to the mains water supply.
As a result, the village, famous for its role as an official “Centre of the Kingdom” and a popular tourist and walkers’ destination, will be hit with a 23 mile diversion which will see motorists and visitors taking a time-consuming detour through Scorton, Oakenclough and Chipping.
The Inn At Whitewell is predicting the closure will hit trade from the north. Direct access will still be possible from the Preston and Longridge side of the hotel.
But general manager Mark Fletcher said: “It’s a major concern. A lot of people do come from Lancaster to dine with us and they just won’t come. The Inn’s owner Charles Bowman has already raised his concerns and I’m sure we’ll be putting in for compensation.”
A spokesman for United Utilities said: “We’re putting seven and a half miles of new pipework in. The road works are essential on this occasion. There’s a very severe drop on the side or the road which means we have to put the pipes in the middle of the road. We ask people for their patience whilst we bring these homes into the local network. It will provide these homes with a more reliable and safe supply of drinking water for at least the next 80-100 years...It’s building an infrastructure for the future too.”
The pipe laying is part of a rolling programme to meet Drinking Water Inspectorate standards. Although it’s a small section of the road where work is being carried out, because this is the main through route from Lancaster to Longridge, a lengthier section of road needs closing to accommodate the diversion which will be via the Marshaw to Scorton Road along Long Lane through 12 others lanes and roads to Dunsop Road.
*The diversion will be via the Marshaw to Scorton Road, along Long Lane, Fell Road, Delph Lane, Bleasdale Lane, Walker Lane, Lower Core Lane, Fiddlers Lane, Collins Hall Lane, Garstang Road, Talbot Street, Green Lane, Chipping Road and Dunsop Road.