A half-term road closure near Bicton Home Farm is ruining trade says a local shop owner.

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While there are concerns that another scheduled road closure, to enable the strengthening of East Budleigh Bridge, from next month to the week before Christmas, could lead to ‘a rat run’ through the village as drivers attempt to avoid delays.

Road resurfacing work has led to the closure of a main road, past Bicton Home Farm, from October 29 to November 9.

It affects East Budleigh from Brick Cross to 100 metres north of Bicton Home Farm.

But while alternative routes have been posted, Jeremy Woods, owner of Woods Village Shop in Colaton Raleigh, said the shock closure was ‘killing’ his business.

He claimed he, and fellow businesses, were never told the stretch would be closed.

“It’s killing us,” he said. “We’re having to chuck stock out.

“We’ve had the worst year of trading ever, and now this – it’s just not fair.

“The worst thing is they are resurfacing a road that doesn’t need resurfacing.

“We have no letter, and nobody told us this was happening. We should have been informed.”

The work is due to finish three days before work on East Budleigh Bridge is scheduled to start, from November 12 to December 17.

District councillor Tom Wright and county councillor Christine Channon have both expressed concern about the disruption to East Budleigh.

It has also been suggested that both sets of works should have been done at the same time given that they are not far from each other and on the same stretch of road, the B3178.

At the last parish council meeting clerk Judith Lumsden said: “The fear is that the village will become a rat run.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “These works are being carried out by South West Highways.

“We request that applicants wishing to close a road consult with directly affected business and residents, which South West Highways have done. Businesses concerned about access during the closure should contact South West Highways on 01404 821500 to discuss arrangements.”

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