East Sussex County Council has altered its plans to cut off the A267 road running through Frant for nine days straight, less than 24 hours after the Times reported that one local businessman was planning to sue the authority over the decision.
Originally, the 0.5 mile stretch of road – that acts as the main access point to the village and as one of the main commuter arteries into Tunbridge Wells – was going to be closed for the prolonged period from Saturday.
To make matters worse for commuters and local businesses, despite on-site working hours being scheduled between 7am and 5pm each day, the road was to remain shut in both directions for 24 hours.
East Sussex County council also confirmed that as they had a ‘statutory obligation’ to carry out the maintenance, no compensation form businesses set to lose thousands of pounds would be considered.
However, the authority has now announced that it will be softening its stance after eleventh hour talks with the affected businesses.
An East Sussex Highways spokesman said a compromise was reached that will see work start two days later, on Monday, October 24 and work will cease at weekends – in order to reduce disruption for businesses at their busiest time of the week.
In addition, during the second week, when the schools will be back after the holidays, work will take place in the evenings to avoid disruption to school traffic.
The spokesman said: “We will maintain access to local businesses where possible throughout the works and will be displaying signs indicating to motorists that local businesses remain open.”
“We hope this goes some way to allaying concerns and would like to thank residents and businesses for their patience and understanding while we carry out these essential repairs.”