'We're still open for business despite HS2 road closures' - countryside restaurant near Leamington's message to customers

Those who run Hilltop cafe on the Fosseway near Hunningham have said the closure of the road could be detrimental to the business despite customers still being able to reach it by car

A countryside restaurant and café on the Fosse Way near Leamington is telling customers that it will still be open as usual despite road closures due to HS2 works taking place for the next few weeks.

From Friday November 12, the Fosse Way will be closed between the Ufton roundabout to the Princethorpe crossroads for a few weeks until mid-December.

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And those who run Hilltop Farm which includes a restaurant, café and shop, on the stretch of the road have asked The Courier and Weekly News to help get the message out that they are hoping this will not impact on the businesses as much as they fear it could.

John Ellis (Owner) and Lotte Ellis (Farm Shop Manager) at Hilltop Farm with the sign they will be putting out in the road while the HS2 works take place.

Lotte Ellis, who runs the farm shop and whose uncle John owns Hilltop Farm, said: "This will have a big detrimental impact on business like us who rely on easy access for customers and passing trade.

"Whilst we have been assured that traffic will be diverted if they are coming from the south - Stratford way - and let through at Princethorpe if the coming from the north (Coventry way), it is still a huge worry to us that customers will not visit us during this time in what is a critical month in the run up to Christmas.

"HS2 also have zero offering for compensation, so if our business does fall off a cliff during these what would usually be busy weeks, we don’t get a penny in compensation, we just need to ‘take the hit’.

"We will remain open every day of the week throughout this period and would really urge customers to please come and visit us, even if it means a short detour.

"If you are coming from Princethorpe, down the Fosseway, you will be able to drive past the road closed signs and up to our entrance, as this way will remain fully accessible, even though this part of the road is officially closed. If you are coming from Leamington, the best route will be out through Cubbington, then Weston-under-Weatherly and up through Hunningham Hill.

"From Southam, you can access us through Long Itchington then up through Long Itchington road and if you are coming from Harbury, you will need to follow the diversion that takes you up through Ufton, then back through long Itchington.

"Our customers have been truly amazing at supporting us throughout covid supporting our Farm Shop, Butchery & Cafe and for that we will be forever thankful.

"We do need to ask one more time for them to keep supporting us over these road closures as it really will make a massive difference.

"Hilltop Farm needs you."

Work on the Fosse Way near Leamington as part of the HS2 high-speed rail project will cause part of the road to be closed for six weeks in total this autumn and winter.To create two roundabouts in Offchurch at the junctions of the Fosse Way and Long Itchington Road and the Fosse Way and Welsh Road, HS2's contractor LM-JV will close part of the Fosse for two-and-a-half weeks from mid-November to early December and for three-and-a-half weeks from February to March.

HS2 has said: "The roundabouts and realigned roads will help ensure the safe delivery of HS2 through the area and makes the roads safer for everyone."