THE recent run of sunny weather over the Easter holidays was welcomed by many traders as a boost to the start of the holiday season. However, some businesses at a popular tourist trap were left feeling bitter and resentful after what they feel was an ill-timed road re-surfacing programme.

The road from Goodrich to Kerne Bridge, a section of about 600 yards, was set for resurfacing on Thursday 9th April to Friday 10th, and despite pleas from businesses at Symonds Yat East that it was during their busy Easter trading time, the works went ahead.

Graham Howells, general manager of the Wyedean Canoe and Adventure Centre and the Royal Lodge Hotel, said: "The sign advising the road ahead was closed, was put at the Vauxhall garage just off the A40, and 120 cars every two hours were turning around there at one point.

"I had customers ring me from Ross to ask how to get to us - the signs there just said diversion ends - and I had to explain to go back to the 'no through road' sign and ignore it, then turn right half a mile later."

This sign is over a mile from the actual roadworks but only half a mile from the road for Symonds Yat east, the popular picnic sites and the famous viewing points over Yat Rocks.

Graham added: "normally our car parks here are full by noon, we employed up to 100 people over the holidays to cope with the expected boost, but I am at my wits' end with Herefordshire County Council.

"Our canoe centre here launches from points at Kerne Bridge, so we had to send our customers up to Ross and back down the Walford Road just to be launched.

"Excuses that this work had to be done to avoid disrupting school bus routes is null and void as they are only carrying out the work after 9am and until 3pm.

Businesses at the popular tourist trap include, the Saracens Head, a tea room, guest house, bed and breakfast, the Symonds Yat East campsite and Kingfisher Cruises as well as Graham's Royal Lodge and Restaurant.

"This shows the complete lack of regard for the businesses in the area," he added.

The businessed affected are taking legal advice with a view to taking the council and contractors to court.

• The Beacon received this comment from the engineers responsible for the roadworks: "Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP), on behalf of Herefordshire Council, carried out two days resurfacing works on the B4229 during the week  6th to 10th April. The work was programmed as part of the investment work being delivered across the county and proposals were communicated in advance with the relevant parish council members and ward members for their comment. This is the usual process to understand what impact the proposed work may have on local communities, businesses and the travelling public and to minimise disruption where possible.

"BBLP also considers whether there may be alternative delivery options to a road closure such as traffic lights or convoys, within the specified budgetary constraints. Following local feedback, BBLP had agreed to restricted working hours to support local business traffic and had decided to carry out the work during school holidays to minimise school traffic disruption.

"BBLP acknowledges that any resurfacing work which requires a road closure to protect the safety of the workforce will impact on road users but appreciates the understanding and patience of those affected whilst delivering improvements work to the highway network."