THE owner of a pub on the A66 has said her business has suffered due to road works which have forced her to close over the last two weekends.

Ellie Richmond and Jack Bowles run the Fox Hall Inn, near East Layton on the A66, and said they are disappointed with the lack of engagement and support from Highways England, and had just two weeks’ notice of the road closure which resulted in them having to close the pub.

She said: “We understand the work needs to be done, but we weren’t given enough notice of the road closure for the last two weekends.

“As a fairly new business – we took over in July last year – it is important to us to be open and to know what is going on. I don’t think letting us know with two week’s notice is enough.”

Ms Richmond, who until last year ran the Fox Hole in Piercebridge, near Darlington, for five years to great success, said she hoped the two other planned weekend road closures will not result in them having to close the pub due to lack of access for customers.

She added: “The Highways Agency said there would be four weeks of road closures but couldn’t tell us which weekends specifically.

“The road is closed from Scotch Corner so it already puts some people off as they won’t know if they can get to us or not.

“We want people to know that we are very much open for business, and we have lots of bookings in the restaurant and hotel for the next couple of weekends.”

A Highways England spokesperson said: “The first two weekend closure of the A66 were carried out as planned and we have already received positive feedback from residents about the new road surface. Our main priority must be the safety of our roadworkers and drivers travelling along the A66.

“Unfortunately due to the severe weather brought by storm Ciara, last weekend’s closure had to be cancelled.

“Before the scheme started we visited business affected by the closures to advise of our planned work. Signs advising ‘business open as usual’ are in place along the route and as well as the long distance diversion a local diversion in place so that drivers can continue to access services.”

Highways England added that a decision about this weekend’s planned closure will be made once the impact of Storm Dennis is forecast.