The staff at Black Barn Farm in Salhouse are frustrated with the Norfolk County Council and gas company Cadent for its part in making access “almost impossible” with road works on a nearby main road. Salhouse Road and Norwich Road have been closed since November 20 to allow Cadent to carry out line replacements, diverting traffic around Rackheath through either Wroxham or Little Plumstead to reach it. Instead of clear and precise instructions, the businesses at Black Barn Farm claim customers are becoming confused and finding it increasingly difficult to find them. The official diversion has pushed customers via Wroxham causing even more traffic issues. The road closure has been scheduled for the Christmas period which is a vital trading period for all small businesses.
The owner of Salhouse Farm Shop and Cafe at Black Barn, Marcus Pearcey, stated that they have lost 25% of their trade due to the road closure. He called for the council and its firms to work with small businesses while disruptive works are underway and emphasized the need for urgency to ensure that the road reopens as quickly as possible. The farm had previously welcomed hundreds of visitors to its Farmers’ Market showing the growing popularity of the venue, which opened in August. The Norfolk County Council spokesman mentioned that the responsibility for signposting and works lies with Cadent, but they will advise the Highways team regarding the impact on local businesses.
Cadent spokesperson stated that the road closure was vital so that work could be carried out quickly and safely. They work closely with the council and local Highways Authority to find the best possible diversion, ensuring traffic continues to flow without causing further disruption. They appreciated the patience of everyone and mentioned that their customer team will be reaching out to Black Barn Farm to discuss their concerns further. The Black Barn Farm spokeswoman called for more local control and governance to ensure road closures are legitimate and completed within good time. It is clear that both the farm and the authorities are communicating with each other to address the issues caused by the road closures in Salhouse.