Traders fear road closure could force them out of business
SHOPKEEPERS in Westbury Park who feared they could be forced out of business after part of their road was closed, say the situation has become “unbearable”.
One trader also claims that fumes from the “badly managed” roadworks are making his family ill.
Half of North View has been closed off to allow hoardings to be built out surrounding a building site, where a block of flats is being built by developers Simon James New Homes.
To keep traffic flowing along the road, which links Linden Road and Westbury Road, a set of two-way temporary traffic lights was put in place in January.
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But six months later local businesses have again raised concerns after noticing a drop in customers.
Graeme Robbins, who lives on the road with his wife Julie Brooks, who owns children’s clothes shop Roundabout, said the situation had got much worse.
“It’s been unbearable – absolutely horrendous,” he said. “It’s been the worst time of my life. There is constant traffic backed up 24 hours, seven days a week.
“My daughter, partner and I are all suffering with health problems due to the fumes because the ‘stop’ sign for the traffic lights is literally outside our front door. I’ve asked the council to move it but they refuse.
“I have taken lots of photographs of the traffic to show how it is badly managed.
“Cars are mounting the kerb and the butcher’s awning has been knocked into many times.”
Another trader saidthe large number of on-street parking spaces lost to allow traffic to pass through has badly affected trade.
Andy Gale, owner of Gales’ Butchers, said: “Having no parking spaces means that passing trade in Westbury no longer has a reason to stop. I’m annoyed that we haven’t been compensated by the council as I think it could have at least reduced our business rates.”
City council spokeswoman Kate Hartas said: “Once a developer has permission from the council to build a development, the council is obliged to support its progress.
“The council must allow for necessary lane closures to serve the development safely.
“The developer has discussed the continuing arrangements with the council, and has made the case to retain the lane closure and temporary traffic lights until September.
“This is to accommodate a hoist for materials.
“The council continues to liaise with traders over some of the problems caused by the arrangements.
“The council has recently had confirmation that the Local Government Ombudsman does not uphold Mr Robbins’ complaints.
“Sometimes the council has limited options to prevent congestion when temporary arrangements for development are in place.”
The developer, Simon James New Homes, was unavailable to comment.