AN APOLOGY has been given after businesses were left "frustrated" at the planned closure of part of a main road in Herefordshire.

The B4224 in Fownhope is closed between February 12 and February 23, with businesses feeling "confused" after they were told customers could access their premises through the road closure. However, since the road closure began, people have been unable to get through and are instead being sent via a diversion.

JP's Pet Parlour, a pet grooming business in the village, has said that it has rearranged some customers' appointments as a result of the closure of the B4224.


The pet parlour wrote on social media: "It has come to light that we will in fact not have access through the closed road. If you are driving to the salon from Hereford, you will need to take the diversion route.

"I understand that most of you will not want to do this. So I will be messaging everyone to rearrange your appointments if you wish. 

"I know this is frustrating. I am now at a loss after being told all my customers would be allowed through. Hope you all understand."

Coo Corner, a local shop, agreed with the pet parlour's Facebook post, writing: "Totally agree with you. Balfour Beatty prove yet again they are useless."

Wye Leisure had also previously advised its customers that access would be maintained, as per information provided by Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP).

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The disruption to customers trying to access local businesses has come despite original communication from BBLP that businesses including Wye Leisure, Coo Corner and JP's Pet Parlour would remain accessible to drivers via the B4224.

Now, there is only access for homes and businesses within the road closure itself, which covers a small stretch of the road, while those wishing to access properties in the area around the closure must travel via the diversion instead.

Ward councillor Barry Durkin, who requested that the roadworks take place, has apologised in response to the confusion caused by the communication between BBLP and local businesses. He said: "I would extend apologies that the message provided was not clear and has caused concern and confusion for residents and businesses. 

"Access will be maintained to all properties in Fownhope during the works. What has not been clear is that some of this access will be through the actual works where a property is physically within the actual area, while access for other areas will be accessible through the use of the diversion.

"We will provide additional support and clarifications to ensure the ongoing disruption is minimised. Once again I would apologise for the issues that have occurred."

Helen Tinson, the clerk to Fownhope Parish Council, said: "There have been errors in communication from Balfour Beatty.

"We understand that contrary to the information previously provided, access will only be given to anyone accessing property within the closed area."


This week, the road is closed from 8am to 5pm each day. Next week (week beginning February 19) it will be closed from 9.30am to 3pm each day to minimise the impact on school traffic.

When the road closure is removed at the end of each day, two-way temporary traffic lights will be in place overnight.

Herefordshire Council has been approached for comment.