Tough road ahead as works soon to begin in Hambledon

Flooding in Hambledon earlier this year
Flooding in Hambledon earlier this year
Police Car / Incident Stock Pic (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150519-172740001

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TRADERS are worried they could face a tough 2015 as major roadworks begin on a busy road.

Work is due to start in the New Year on building an underground pipe beneath the B2150 and along West Street in Hambledon as part of a £3.89m flood prevention scheme.

Groundwater levels are currently rising, but the jury is still out on whether the village will flood this winter.

But pub landlord Steve Guermonprez said he is more worried about the impact of the scheduled roadworks than the flooding.

Following the flooding earlier this year he was entitled to compensation for loss of business.

But not a single penny will be made available for the potential negative impact of the roadworks.

He is worried cars will not be able access his pub from Denmead for eight months due to the road being dug up.

Mr Guermonprez, who runs The Vine pub in Hambledon, said: ‘That’s the massive threat to this business, not the flood.

‘Most of my business comes over Denmead. What in effect is going to happen is the roadworks will completely block 80 to 90 per cent of my customers until the roadworks go past the pub.

‘The big story is there is no compensation for businesses.’

Mr Guermonprez said he will be seeking to ensure that people know they can still access the village from the Clanfield side.

But leaders at Hampshire County Council stressed Hambledon would still be open for business.

Councillor Seán Woodward, in charge of transport, said: ‘We’re keenly aware of the need to work with our partners and the local community to try and minimise the impact of the works on the everyday life of the village.

‘We will be making sure we have good lines of communications with residents and businesses, particularly around traffic management arrangements to ensure local businesses remain open as usual.’

He added: ‘The county council will be using appropriate statutory means to ensure we can close sections of the road as necessary to undertake the works. We will do everything we can to reduce the inevitable disruption this will cause, however, I can confirm the county council will not be liable for compensation in such circumstances.’