Haverhill businesses must succeed ‘in spite of’ Suffolk County Council claimed one man as the authority refused permission for a sign to his club.
Steve Russell, club secretary at Haverhill Ex-Servicemen’s Club, also lambasted the council for its failure to adopt and thus improve Quakers Lane, saying several elderly members have fallen over and hurt themselves due to the road being peppered with craters and potholes.
“We have been trying for years to have the road at the top end upgraded to what would be accepted in a civilised society,” said Mr Russell, 57, from Abington Place.
“It’s in such a poor state of repair even people on foot find it difficult to use.
“Several of our elderly members have fallen and hurt themselves.
“We have this discussion with the council and they say it’s not a road, it’s a byroad, but there’s two street lights and a telegraph pole on it so someone must recognise it’s a road.
“Can anyone imagine a road in the centre of Bury St Edmunds being left with no maintenance at all for years on end? Thought not.
“Even if it wasn’t the council should have a moral obligation to fix it, even if there isn’t a legal one.
“We’re not asking for it to become the M25.
“I have heard all the excuses for this abdication of responsibility from the council and have become immune to their incompetence.”
Mr Russell applied for permission for a foot long by three inch sign to direct people to the club as it can be tricky to find, yet was refused this.
“To me it just seems spiteful.
“They said they are trying to reduce the number of signs on the High Street.
“We’ve just been chosen as a venue for a national snooker tournament and yet we’re treated like a two-bob town centre pub.
“When you see the High Street in terminal decline you know who to blame, because if you are running a business in Haverhill you will succeed in spite of the council, not because of it.”
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We declined the request as highway direction signs are generally to direct traffic, and in urban areas pedestrians, to public destinations (towns, villages etc), public facilities (libraries, schools etc) and tourist attractions (brown signs).
“Signing is not provided to advertise the existence of an establishment.
“In this case, the ESMC is not considered to meet criteria.
“You can imagine the impact on the street scene and street clutter if we allowed establishments, clubs, pubs, shops etc to sign their whereabouts.”
He added that Quakers Lane from High Street to the ESMC is a public highway considered ‘safe and serviceable’, but that from ESMC to Mill Road/Recreation Road it is a ‘private track with bridleway rights over part of its width’.
“The bridleway part was surfaced some years ago by the council and the remainder of its width is an unmade surface,” he said.
“It is not legal to drive on a bridleway, and we consider the condition of the bridleway safe and serviceable,” meaning anyone who drives from High Street up Quakers Lane is stuck as the road is too narrow to turn a car around and it would be illegal to continue driving.
For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, May 1) Echo.