UPDATE: Road to stay closed over weekend after trench collapse

Yvonne Harris, of the Black Bull. She and her husband Dick have seen a drop in trade since the road closed after an accident.
Yvonne Harris, of the Black Bull. She and her husband Dick have seen a drop in trade since the road closed after an accident.
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FRIDAY, 5PM: A HOLBEACH road closed since a trench collapsed injuring a workman a week ago will now remain closed until Monday at the earliest.

It had been hoped that Fleet Street would be reopened today (Friday) following the conclusion of a Health and Safety Executive investigation and assessment of the road’s stability.

But a Lincolnshire County Council spokesman confirmed the road will remain closed until after the weekend, when temporary traffic lights are likely to be in place to allow roadworks to continue.

They were due to be finished by the end of March, but they are now likely to finish later as a result of the delay.

ORIGINAL STORY: BUSINESS owners claim their trade has been hit dramatically by the closure of a road after a workmen was injured in a trench collapse.

Fleet Street in Holbeach has been closed since last Friday when a trench dug by Lincolnshire County Council contractors collapsed onto a worker, resulting in him being airlifted to hospital with a broken leg.

The trench had been dug as part of drainage works which were expected to cost £75,000 and bring to an end 20 years of problems at the site.

The road is expected to reopen tomorrow after a full safety assessment has been carried out following fears the collapse had undermined the road’s stability.

But Dick Harris, of the Black Bull pub, said he and other businesses in the affected section of road had been left in the dark and seen business plummet as potential customers were led to believe they could not “get through”.

Mr Harris said: “People have just assumed we are closed because the signs have said there is no access.

“We only had seven people in for Sunday lunch, instead of our usual 25 to 35 last week.

“I have spoken to another business owner across the road and he has told me his trade is down by two-thirds since this happened.

“I have got no choice but to claim for compensation and we still haven’t been able to get confirmation of when the road will reopen because everyone is saying everyone else is responsible for the closure.”

Lincolnshire County Council highways manager Martyn Allen said: “The road is still closed at the moment but we are hopeful it will reopen with temporary traffic lights again by tomorrow, pending approval from the Health and Safety Executive.

“The safety of motorists, pedestrians and our contractors is our main concern.”

Investigations are ongoing into the reasons why the trench collapsed and the section of road closed has now been shortened.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The signs at the barriers do say that the businesses are open as usual and we have been in touch with those affected to explain whar is happening and to reassure them over access.

“The drainage work will just continue as planned and is expected to be finished by April, although this could be delayed slightly.”