TRADERS in Hadleigh fear they will miss out on any Olympic boost to business despite their town hosting an event.

They are concerned about how shoppers will get to the shops and the parking situation in the town, when spectators turn up to watch the Olympic mountain bike event, at Hadleigh Farm on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12.

Some of the concerns stem from the fact spectators may opt to take a park and ride route to the event, picking up and dropping them off a long way from the town centre.

Louise Nicholls, owner of Atlantis Beauty, said: “It doesn’t feel like the businesses have been involved much in the build-up to the games.

“I don’t see the town benefiting much, because most spectators will be bused in and out from Canvey and Leigh.

“With the regeneration of Hadleigh, it would have been nice to get more people into the town.

“The town is going to be gridlock over the weekend and, with Saturday being my busiest day for trade, I am worried how my customers will get to and from the shop.”

Helen Goodwin, owner of Hadleigh Hats, Shoes and Bags in London Road, added: “I can’t see the Olympics having a positive impact on our trade.

“Lots of customers will stay away because the roads will be gridlocked, and because parking is going to be a nightmare.

“As a specialist retailer, I think we will be dead the weekend the events are on, because lots of our customers drive into the town to come to the shop.”

However, Jill Poet, branch chairman for the Essex Feder-ation of Small Businesses for South East Essex, said she hoped small businesses take advantage of the Games coming to town.

She said: “People will be curious. It’s human nature, they will want to have a look at the town.

“Local businesses should see this as an opportunity to maybe work differently and attract those one-off customers.”

A spkesman for Essex County Council, said: “We would encourage businesses and residents in Hadleigh to plan ahead for the games.

“The Olympic Mountain Bike events take place on August 11 and 12, and, as a result, Hadleigh and the surrounding area will be exceptionally busy.

“Essex County Council is implementing a number of measures to minimise disruption for the residents and business in the area, by introducing parking restrictions on Castle Lane, Chapel Lane and Park Chase, along with changes to residential access on Mount Zion and Seaview Terrace. Those affected will be notified directly.

“We are also taking measures to ensure the area can cope with the influx of visitors to the games.”

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