VILLAGERS say they have been left in the dark over a seven-day road closure with no clear details about how they will access their homes.

Residents in St Weonards in the south of the county received a letter in the post from Balfour Beatty, a contractor of Herefordshire Council, informing them that road closures will be in place on the A466 within the village speed limit.

The letter said a road closure will be in force between 9am and 5pm between August 23 and 31, but not on the weekend or Bank Holiday Monday, and that access to homes and businesses may be restricted during this time.

Peter Hallewell, who lives in Mount Way in the village, said they understand that the road needs to be resurfaced but questioned why a convoy system could not be in place so access could be maintained.

He said residents have appointments to attend and the letter is not clear about whether they will be able to leave or access their homes during the times specified.

He said: “It is the business side of things too. We have got the shop - that is the focal point for the village.” Peter said the shop supports a growing village as it is an important amenity. He said it should be supported in every way possible and said it is not fair to lose trading days due to a road closure.

Julie Ross, who runs the Post Office and Stores, said she has been told that there will be three days when people will not be able to get past her shop but no specific dates have been mentioned.

She said it means she is unsure of how much fresh stock to buy due to the uncertainty of whether customers will be able to reach the shop.

Julie said: “It is the notice period as well. We haven’t been able to change appointments. Legally we should have had three months notice which means we can plan more about the stock, obviously we still wouldn’t know who is going to come.

“But we could have shut for a few days and given everyone a well deserved rest. But it’s too late now and I have got to pay wages.”

She said when she initially received the letter she worried that vehicles would not reach her for nine days and said this would have put the business under. She added: “It is not going to be as bad as that now. But there still could be a lot of wastage and that’s if we can get stock here.”

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said: “Initial works will take place on August 23 when the A466 will be ‘planed’ to remove the road’s surface layer. Once this has been completed, vehicular and pedestrian access to the village via the A466 will be maintained wherever possible for the remainder of the phased resurfacing works, and a site gateman will be on call to facilitate this.”

Subject to weather conditions the road will be resurfaced up to the shop by 5pm on August 28 and the road will be fully open by August 31.