Businesses affected after landslip closes the A67 between Darlington and Barnard Castle (From The Northern Echo)
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Businesses affected after landslip closes the A67
BUSINESSES on a major commuter route closed to traffic following a landslip say its closure will have a drastic effect on trade unless it is repaired quickly.
The A67 from Darlington to Barnard Castle was closed between High Coniscliffe and Piercebridge on Tuesday after there was further movement of the ground beneath the road - which runs along the top of a bank above the River Tees.
Temporary traffic lights were put in place while Darlington Borough Council examined the initial landslip in February, believed to be caused by heavy rain.
The council says it is expects the road to be closed for "some time" and diversions are in place - but local businesses are already noticing a difference.
Julie Dent, landlady of the Lord Nelson, in Gainford, said the closure would affect all businesses along the route.
“There is a lot of talk about it in the pub,” she said. “Nobody is sure what is happening or how long it will be shut for, but the longer it remains closed, the worse it is for business.
“I am worried about the Sunday lunch trade – people simply won’t want to spend money on driving round the diversion so will stay local.”
Her thoughts are echoed by Mark McNamee, landlord of the Carlbury Arms, in Piercebridge. He took over the pub in November last year, but his business was devastated by torrential rain and flooding.
He has spent the last five months refurbishing the pub and reopened on Monday, the day before the road closure.
“When I opened this week the flow of traffic going through had dramatically dropped, it has been extremely quiet,” he said.
“There is definitely a drop in the number of cars going through and even the locals have said there is nowhere near as much traffic coming through.
“You have to go halfway round the world and back to get here, so people aren’t bothering.
“The council haven’t told us what is happening; nobody knows how long the road will be shut for or how big the landslide is.”
A council spokeswoman said the landslip is being investigated by council engineers and a letter has been sent to residents affected by the closure.
A meeting will be held next week to discuss the situation.