Wiltshire’s wonkiest road is killing pub’s trade – despite new found tourist attraction status

Business at The Peterborough Arms just outside of Lyneham has been affected by Wiltshire’s wonkiest road over the past couple of weeks.

Sections of the undulating B4069 road surface nearby have risen by around four feet and repairs to fix it could take between six to 18 months, with repair costs expected to rise above £1m.

The road has been closed since the February 17 when Storm Eunice caused a major land slip that completely damaged the highway.

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Landlord of the Peterborough Arms Brendan Watkins says that his Sunday bookings are down by 50 per cent as a result of the disruption.

But on the other hand, he believes short-term footfall past the pub has increased since the storm, as Wiltshire’s wonkiest road has become something of a tourist attraction, not to mention making it a handy skate park for some.

He told Wiltshire Live: “Things are very strange at the moment. Because of the road we’ve got lots of people walking down past the pub to come and see the road.

“There’s been a lot of tourism going on at lunchtime. People are walking past the pub and popping in for something to eat which is great, but that’s not going to last for very long.

“It’s good in the short term but its not helping us in the night-time when its dark”, he added.

Watkins says there have been other unexpected effects of the subsided road: “Our phone and internet keeps going because they’re trying to repair the cabling up on the banks. So every five minutes we lose phone connection and internet connection and our card machine won ‘t work.”



The B4069 near Lyneham has been severely damaged
The B4069 near Lyneham has been severely damaged

Wiltshire Council has installed temporary signs to stop vehicles from using the route well in advance, but Brendan says that this is stopping customers from getting to the pub.

He says it is still safe and possible for vehicles to reach the pub if they are traveling in from Chippenham.

Brendan said: “Even though the road closed signs are out for about three or four miles before you get here, coming in from Chippenham the road is open right the way until you get about 200 yards past the pub.”

The road is however completely blocked off from those traveling in from nearby Lyneham.



The B4069 near Lyneham
Wiltshire council say the road has been closed since February 17

“The village of Lyneham is just at the top of the hill and so if they want to come to us now they’ve got about a 20-minute diversion to get to us. About 60 per cent of our trade used to come down that hill so it really has hit us.”

Brendan says he has been told the road will take about six to 18 months to repair, and he believes that it will have a detrimental effect on his business.

Councilor Dr Mark McClelland said: “We apologize to anyone inconvenienced by the closure to the B4069 Lyneham Banks, and we are working quickly to improve the situation in the medium-term.

“The road has suffered some major damage that will take a long time to fix, and at a significant cost that could run over £1m.”

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