An angry pub landlord has called for police and highways chiefs to be better prepared in future after Sunday’s emergency closure of the B1145.
Paul Lusher, of the Sandboy pub at Bawsey, hit out after more than 200 cars parked on both sides of the road near Bawsey Country Park creating a major obstruction.
He said: “This unacceptable chaos happens every time the weather is hot. It is well known that the B1145 in Bawsey is a very busy and dangerous road yet Norfolk County Council and the police do not act in readiness for the expected surge of people.”
Local policing commander Inspector Debbie Gunnill said, in an effort to address the problems long term, police intended to work closely with landowners, other agencies and local residents. She said: “Understandably people want to visit beauty spots to enjoy the sunshine but I would urge them to be considerate when parking. Blocking rural roads can be dangerous for other road users and could ultimately lead to the seizure and removal of vehicles.”
Mr Lusher said the closure had a major impact on his business. “Instead of a busy Sunday afternoon, our takings were down by over £600, which is totally unacceptable for us. People with bookings were not allowed through despite ringing us on their mobiles for help. One party had booked a taxi home but the police wouldn’t let the taxi through,” said Mr Lusher.
Some people going to the country park also tried to park at the pub before walking off with their picnic equipment. “They were politely told it was for patrons unless they wished to pay the £5 parking fee. Most people agreed. Some were downright abusive. I hasten to add that the abusive ones were English and local,” said Mr Lusher.
He plans to open up extra parking space in future and charge drivers £5 per car. He also called for double yellow lines or no- parking signs as a deterrent to irresponsible drivers.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “In order to try to help in the long term, we have discussed with the police the possibility of implementing a clearway order on part of this road. This would prevent motorists parking and stopping on the stretch of road covered by the order.” The order would be enforced by traffic wardens.
The spokesman said: “We would need to go through a legal process in order to do this. If it is agreed that this is the right course of action to take, we would look to programme it next year.”
This year’s programme is full.”