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Roadworks woe for pub couple

PUBLISHED: 09:16 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 12 July 2010

George and Angie Estcourt at The Kings Head, North Lopham, which they say has been dogged by roadworks.

George and Angie Estcourt at The Kings Head, North Lopham, which they say has been dogged by roadworks.

A pub landlord said yesterday he had resorted to offering diners a buy-one-get-one-free deal on beer in an effort to overcome loss of trade caused by a road closure.

A pub landlord said yesterday he had resorted to offering diners a buy-one-get-one-free deal on beer in an effort to overcome loss of trade caused by a road closure.

George and Angie Estcourt came out of semi-retirement three months ago after being encouraged by former customers to buy the King's Head at North Lopham.

But the couple spoke of their frustration yesterday after their new venture was hit by the closure of the main road through the south Norfolk village for a major sewerage scheme.

Mr Estcourt said he was now offering the two-for-one deal on Greene King IPA and Becks Vier for diners until The Street was reopened later this month.

The new owners of the King's Head said that passing trade had been disrupted by the Anglian Water works ever since they

took over the village local in November.

The husband-and-wife team, who used to run the Cross Keys at Redgrave, said business was good over the festive period when

The Street was reopened for two weeks.

But Mr Estcourt said that trade had dropped dramatically when the road closure and diversions resumed on Monday after engineers returned.

"The people of the village are wonderful and have been very supportive since we opened, but we are also dependent on passing trade and we need more people coming through the village.

"There is no point in us being open if no one can get to us," he said.

Mr Estcourt said that he could not apply for compensation from Anglian Water because the couple had no historical trading figures for the King's Head.

An Anglian Water spokeswoman said the sewerage scheme was important for North Lopham and would connect 167 homes to a main sewer for the first time.

She added that a diversion was in place and signs saying that businesses were open as usual had been put up.

"The road should be open at the end of this month.

"Local residents and businesses have been kept informed about the work, but our local manager will visit the pub concerned to see if any fears they may have can be allayed," she said.

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