Seafront traders appeal for signs

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

TRADERS in Weston fear the work on the seafront could spell the end of the road for their businesses.

TRADERS in Weston fear the work on the seafront could spell the end of the road for their businesses.

Owners of the resort's hotels and restaurants along Knightstone Road have spent months suffering financially as customers are put off by barriers and closures.

They say that North Somerset Council should have put up signs stating that businesses are open before work commenced, instead of allowing them to go for months with poor trade.

Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association member, Sophie Michael, whose family own the Seaward Hotel, said: "We want to let people know that we are here and we are open for business, so don't forget us.

"Trade has been bad for all of us and obviously there are other affecting facts like the snow, but the roadworks have made matters worse.

"There are no signs to let people know that we are open for business and if things carry on as they are, some hotels and restaurants may not even be open next year."

The road is being dug up as part of vital work to replace old gas and water pipes and

stretches along the seafront from The Old Thatched Cottage, to near the Cove bar and restaurant.

The maintenance work is the second part of a three-phase plan.

A one way system came into force on January 4 and traffic will be restricted to southbound only until June 25.

Parking is not permitted on the road and temporary footpaths have been created.

Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association chairman Keith Fearn, who owns The Monaco Hotel, said that all owners along the seafront want North Somerset Council to put signs up indicating that the establishments are open.

Mr Fearn, aged 53, said: "Some people may think we are closed but I want to assure everyone that this is not the case.

"The signage could be more adequate instead of just saying 'road closed'.

"This has had a big effect on all of us, from the Nook & Harbour to The Old Thatched Cottage, we are all suffering.

"The temporary footpath is confusing for people and isn't suitable for all users.

"Drivers are also confused and are unable to stop, even our regulars have given up trying to negotiate a way round."

Mr Fearn said that members of the association understand the scheme will be great in the end but they just want a bit of extra help in letting people know that they are open.

A spokesman for North Somerset Council confirmed that they are in the process of finalising some prominent yellow signs, which state that businesses are open for trade.

A council spokesman said: "We realise this is causing disruption but in the end this will be fantastic for Weston and we would ask people to be patient while this multi-million pound scheme is completed."

To see a map of the affected route and details on the next phase of the roadworks log onto www.westonmercury.co.uk

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