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Southbourne traders anger over Bournemouth Marathon road closures
TRADERS in Southbourne claim they were not told about the impact the first-ever Bournemouth Marathon Festival would have on the area.
More than 100 roads in Southbourne were closed or affected by lane closures over the course of the weekend and locals also had to contend with 15 parking and junction restrictions.
Andrew Bowm, a director at Wentworth Motors, said business-owners were told “nothing” about it, which led to financial losses for the company.
“We were just left in the dark about the huge effect it would have on Southbourne,” he said.
“A lot of people round here were totally oblivious about the disruption it would cause.
“Residents were unable to get their cars out for hours. In the end, we decided that we wouldn’t open on Sunday at all.”
Lesley Franklin, who owns Sparkle Launderette next door, said: “We just didn’t get any information about it.
“Traders just weren’t told about the road closures. We’re open seven days a week but people just weren’t able to get to us all day on Sunday.”
She said she isn’t against the marathon.
“I absolutely support the event itself, but I just don’t think the organisation was good enough,” she said.
Mum Sandra Hassan said she and son Oliver were “trapped” in their homes.
“Both ends of the road were closed,” she said.
“Oliver was ready to go to a football match, but marshals told us there was no chance we’d be able to get there. It was ridiculous.”
However, Heather Martyn, part of Southbourne on Sea Business Association’s management team, said: “We thought it was a fantastic event.
“It brought a lot of people into our High Street, which was brilliant, and we hope it returns in the future.”
Event organisers set up a road closure helpline to inform motorists of closures.
A spokesman for the event organisers said every effort was made to ensure traffic flowed as smoothly as possible: “The organisers, in association with The Borough of Bournemouth Council and Borough of Poole Council, have striven to minimise the disruptive impact of the event to allow those directly affected to carry on with their daily routine with as little inconvenience as possible. Please note emergency service vehicles were not affected by any of the road closure restrictions.”
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