The owners of a bar and restaurant have expressed concerns that the long-term closure of roads leading to their business will badly affect trade.
A major project to improve the quality of bathing water along Shanklin beach will begin on September 17, and will lead to a number of roads closures around the Arthur’s Hill area of Shanklin for around eight months.
Southern Water is investing £4 million into the scheme, which will see a 285-metre tunnel, with a diameter of 1.8 metres, constructed under Arthur’s Hill, the main road between Shanklin and Lake.
The idea is to provide additional water storage during peak flow periods, and ease the workload of the pumping station on Hope Beach.
Sharon Villiers who runs Shanklin’s Hideaway restaurant with partner David Rolph, said: “St Boniface Cliff Road, the main route to us, is being closed for more than seven months, which is ridiculous as far as we are concerned, and very worrying for us.
“A lot of locals already know where we are, but if any tourists want to visit us, and try to follow the information signs, they will realise the roads up to us are closed off, and are not going to come.”
The brown tourist information signs for the Hideaway Bar and Restaurant all take traffic from Arthur’s Hill into St Boniface Cliff Road.
Sharon added: “We will remain open for business as usual, but I can’t believe the length of time that St Boniface Cliff Road in particular will be closed. All I can say is that thankfully people will still be able to walk up the cliff path from Hope Road to come and see us.”
A Southern Water spokesman said: “The work to improve the sewer network in the Arthur’s Hill area means creating an additional 750,000 litres of storm-water capacity to provide greater resilience at times of heavy rain.
“This will reduce the need during wet weather for permitting emergency releases into the sea from the wastewater network, thus improving the bathing water quality.”
Arthur’s Hill will be shut from the junction of Atherley Road and Hope Road up to Wilton Park Road from September 17 to October 10, with local residential only access permitted.
St Boniface Cliff Road will will also be closed on September 17, and remain so until April 20 next year, and all parking will be suspended along the entire north side of the road during closure.
Wilton Park Road will be closed from October 1 to March 15, and Arthur’s Hill will be closed again from March 18 to May 24, 2019.
An information leaflet distributed to nearby residents confirmed that work on the project will begin on September 17, and the aim is to complete it by “the beginning of summer 2019”.
Southern Water officials will be available to answer questions about the work and listen to any residents’ concerns at the YMCA Winchester House, Sandown Road, Shanklin, on Wednesday (September 4) from 10.30am to 1.30pm, and then from 3pm to 7pm.