February 10, 2009
traders say roadworks are turning Highbridge into a 'ghost town'
traders in the centre of Highbridge say three months of disruptive
roadworks are hitting their trade, putting their future in jeopardy,
and turning the shopping area into a 'ghost town'.
claim trade has been badly hit in recent weeks by the major roadworks,
which have led to the partial closure of Church Street, causing
endless queues of traffic.
Angry shop owners say their calls for compensation have been ignored
and they are now planning protests to make their voice heard.
was first to predict the disruption last
month, as gas mains are replaced between January 26th and
the end of April.
Chedzoy of Bay Tree Upholstery, pictured, told Burnham-On-Sea.com
on Tuesday (February 10th): "Trade has been going down ever
since the work started at the end of January."
are just not coming into Highbridge due to the disruption and
queues. Highbridge is becoming a no-go zone and risks becoming
a 'ghost town'."
also revealed that he is planning to protest against the work
during the coming weeks. "If the roadworks come near my shop
I intend to lie across the road and try to stop it going ahead."
disgraceful that this work is going ahead without anyone coming
to talk to traders or discuss how we will be compensated."
fellow Church Street businessman Dennis Moore, who runs a fish
and chips shop, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Luckily I have
a good base of local trade so my trade hasn't been badly hit,
but passing trade is definitely down."
been amazed this week that just three people have been working
on the road at any one time, which is ridiculous given the disruption
being created on a main trunk road."
the gas board were keen to minimise the impact on shops and businesses,
they would be working 24 hours a day with double the people and
could finish the whole job in a month."
County Council Highways spokeswoman Jan Hookings told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"This is essential works being carried out by the gas board
- it's gas mains replacement."
cannot stop the work from happening. We have consulted with the
gas board to make sure they do the work at the best time of the
year to cause the least disruption, principally to avoid the holiday
period, carnival and lead-up to Christmas."
also confirmed that further roadworks are planned for the centre
of Highbridge over the coming year.
road is planned to be resurfaced next year. We are aware there
is also a possibility that Western Power may want to go in and
do work but do not know the timescale."