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Saltaire traders tell of drop in business during roadworks
9:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
The Saltaire roundabout roadworks are driving customers away, claim two leading traders who have questioned the pace of improvements.
Jeweller Hugh Evans has run the Evans Partnership opposite the Co-Op on Bingley Road for eight years and said his takings had halved compared to the same time last year.
“Since the roadworks began in earnest we are just not getting the footfall,” said Mr Evans, who has other shops in Pudsey and Leeds.
“People don’t want to park in amongst the roadworks which are causing chaos.
“And while I understand work has to be staggered, it seems they are being held up waiting for materials to arrive at different times.
“For example five men were started work on a pedestrian crossing outside my house and still hadn’t finished it after eight hours.”
Mr Evans said he was keeping a record of how his takings had dipped and said although he could claim back monies from Bradford Council against his business rates, that still wouldn’t cover his shortfall.
“Despite that, I’ll still be out of pocket,” Mr Evans said.
Delicatessen owner Matt Coxon, of Cheese and Chutney, said although he wanted to be optimistic, he had noticed trade had shrunk recently.
He said: “At first it was fine, but when they put the traffic lights in at the Hirst Lane junction by the garage it was as if a light had been turned off and it became a ghost town.
“Most traders have noticed it and are in the same situation, there has definitely been a dip.”
Mr Coxon said he also felt projects were being left unfinished.
“There are just holes all over the place, but none getting filled in and finished as they go – it seems piecemeal,” he said.
“What we want is people to know Saltaire is still thriving, despite the roadworks.”
Shipley ward councillor Martin Love said while he was aware of some traders’ concerns, the proposed finish date had already been brought forward to December.
“As to the speed of working, it’s perfectly obvious that things are going well as it is already ahead of schedule,” said Coun Love (Green, Shipley).
He stressed that the Council would consider temporary reductions in business rates for those affected.