The landlord of a country pub has claimed he is out of pocket by more than £20,000 after being hit with a double whammy of crippling road closures and phone line problems.
Steve Thomas, who took over at the Cock Horse Inn in Detling 18 months ago with partner Sue Bishop, said that as a result, his head chef left.
The pair are seeking compensation from BT and highways bosses to try and recoup the money.
When the pair took over the pub, they were told the three days of the Kent County Show at the Kent Showground in Detling provided the best trading period of the year, outstripping Christmas.
Mr Thomas said he had planned to take on an extra chef and had devised new menus for this year’s event, which took place between July 11 and 13.
But the phone line was suddenly cut off between July 1 and July 16.
“We were hoping to get about £8,000 of bookings from people who would stop off with us for a meal on their way home from the county show. The restaurant was dead...” - Landlord Steve Thomas
“We were hoping to get about £8,000 of bookings from people who would stop off with us for a meal on their way home from the county show. The restaurant was dead apart from people who live nearby and regular visitors,” he said.
After complaining to BT, he was offered £150 as a “goodwill gesture”.
“That’s less than £10 a day for the time our line was not functioning,” he said.
“How is that fair?”
Then Kent Highways shut off Church Lane in the village – the only direct route into the village for traffic travelling east on the A249 – from August 4 to September 6.
The pair said they had also approached Kent Highways for compensation and were sent a claim form.
“We have lost an awful lot of money,” said Mr Thomas. “When the phone line was down, we couldn’t take cards, so we even had people coming in the door, but going out.”
A spokesman for Kent County Council said: “We will assess any claim submitted to determine whether there are grounds for compensation before responding to the complainant.”