Businesses warn of '˜total gridlock' due to summer roadworks on Fratton Bridge
BUSINESSES in Fratton fear that lane closures on Fratton Bridge and other gas roadworks will have a big effect on their trade.
Southern Gas Network will be partly closing Fratton Bridge for six weeks from Monday, June 4 – with the northbound and southbound lanes being shut for three weeks each, across two phases.
But businesses in the area fear that not only will the traffic come to a standstill, but that their trade will suffer as a result of the closure.
Vikki Sullivan, manager of Smart Stop in Fratton Road, said: ‘It sounds like it’ll be really bad.
‘The traffic round here has always been a problem before they even start closing off roads.
‘Any sort of diversion is going to cause a lot of congestion – I suppose it will have to be by Arundel Street because there is simply no other road around here, but that’s busy even at the best of times.
‘My business should be okay but the ones that do deliveries are going to be hit quite hard.’
One such business is Direct Carpet Centre, also on Fratton Road.
Warehouse assistant Dan Carrott said: ‘Fratton Bridge is directly next to us so we use it all the time for deliveries and so on.
‘Closing the bridge will definitely add a lot of time to our deliveries because we have to go around and compete with all the extra traffic.
‘It’s going to be a real pain for us because it’ll be a total gridlock for the whole summer.’
As the works are carried out, the northbound lane of the bridge will be closed for three weeks first – before it is opened and the southbound lane is closed for the same period.
Natalie Harvey, company director of Orchard Blinds in Fawcett Road, said: ‘I didn’t know anything about this – nobody has mentioned it to us.
‘We go to people’s houses to fit their blinds so use the bridge every single day.
‘Closing the bridge will have a huge impact on traffic – it makes it difficult because everyone is going to have to use the same road to get out of the city.
‘It’s going to be a real problem, especially since it will be going on for six weeks.’
It is understood the timing of the works has been strategically planned to avoid both the summer holidays and the football season.