Shropshire Star

'Road works mean fruit picking customers can't get to us'

A family which runs a fruit farm on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border is blaming roadworks for driving customers away.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Market Drayton Road in Loggerheads is due to reopen on Friday and in the next month planned roadworks taking place on the A53 will mean Newcastle Road will be closed from Sunday until July 2.

From next month more road works in Woore will prevent motorists travelling south getting to the farm.

Tena Roberts from Bearstone Fruit Farm in London Road in Knighton near Market Drayton said: “I’m not normally one to grouse like that, but I do when nobody can be bothered to sort it out or even talk to us or listen to us or come to use beforehand, even as a courtesy. We’re the one’s losing money and quite a lot of money as well potentially.

In 2006 John Roberts with Tena Roberts and Owen Roberts at Bearstone Fruit Farm near Market Drayton

“For instance the other day, on a day that we would expect at any given point in time there to be 50 cars there at any given time - we had three cars in the car park.”

"Due to the nature of the business and fruit only being available and viable for a few months a year the farm only has eight weeks during the summer to cover the business costs for the entire year. With the amount of road works taking place if customers struggle to make it to the farm it has a big impact on the business.

"I don’t have an issue with road works happening but unless they’re right in front of our entrance you need to say access as usual or business open as usual. That’s all we want to be considered.

“I mean we’re not asking for miracles, we’re not trying to stop road works being done because I know they’re going to happen whether Bearstone Fruit Farm is open or not but they should contact us and they should try to mitigate the effects, not just for us to any of the businesses.”

James Bailey, assistant director for highways and the built county at Staffordshire County Council said: “The resurfacing work on major roads in Loggerheads is part of our annual preventative treatment programme that helps preserve and extend the life of roads whilst they are still in good condition. It means they last longer and do not require as much maintenance in the future.

“It’s an approach we have been using extensively across the county that has been very effective and helps to free up resources which can then be used on more serious repairs. It’s part of a wider £50 million investment in our roads over the next three years.

“To make sure the work can be carried out safely on occasions the road may need to be temporarily closed, however access to businesses and residents in the works area is being maintained where possible and diversion routes will be signed on site. Crews will be doing their best to get the work done as quickly as possible and we thank people for their co-operation.”

Report by Local Democracy Reporter Jonathan Sutton

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.