Bridge work drives Sherston pub out of business
Pub landlords Suzie and Ian Witt say road closures and a lack of support have forced them to close the Carpenter’s Arms in Sherston.
Mrs Witt, who took over the running of the pub with her husband Ian a year and a half ago, said: “We have shut the pub I’m afraid. We are both gutted. The road closures have absolutely killed us.”
Network Rail’s bridge repairs at Badminton overbridge on the B4040 has diverted traffic away from the village.
“In the first year we had a good profit but as soon as Network Rail started the trade dropped off, plus we weren’t getting the passing trade,” said Mrs Witt.
The bridge project was due to finish in December but the works have been delayed after bats were found nesting there.
Mrs Witt, a mum-of-three, also said they felt unsupported by pub owner Enterprise Inns, after appealing for help to revamp the pub.
Since they took over the couple have invested thousands of pounds to redecorate, take down walls to revamp the snug and put re-equip the kitchen.
“We were tied to Enterprise Inns and there was an awful lot of work that needed to be done and we asked them for help and they said No,” said Mrs Witt, who has lived in the village all her life.
“I think we got out while we still could and we will go back to having a normal life now. I’ve got no idea what will happen to it now. It’s very sad.
“We were both gutted because we didn’t want to leave; we loved it.”
Network Rail has said the work to the bridge is necessary to support the firm’s electrification programme in Wiltshire.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “We can confirm that the Carpenters Arms has temporarily closed but we are working with the publicans to get the pub reopened as soon as possible.”