Seven days later...

WHAT a difference a week makes.

WHAT a difference a week makes.

Seven days ago, North Somerset Council was publically acclaimed for its quick actions to protect vulnerable people left stranded by the collapse of bus firm ACL.

Yet today, the same authority stands accused of 'crucifying' Weston's tourism industry after revealing the town's seafront faces ten more months of disruption.

Traders who have watched their income tumble over the past year as swathes of promenade and beach have been out of bounds because of seawall work have seen the light at the end of the tunnel snuffed out by the announcement of further upheaval.


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Roads that have resembled building sites since May last year will now be dug up again... leaving hotel, restaurant and pub owners flabbergasted and fearing for their futures.

The council insists traders have been consulted and are 'happy' - quite a leap of faith, judging from the reaction of those the Mercury talked to.

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"It is making my blood boil," said one. "It is atrocious, and we have not been consulted at all."

And a second added: "They are crucifying us. No-one has been consulted."

The people of Weston will ask why these repairs were not carried out alongside the long-running sea defence works.

Why dig up the road twice, when once would surely have made more sense?

If there is a logistical reason why the works had to be staggered, surely it would have been fairer to the tourism industry to allow it to recover from one blow before landing another?

This new work is scheduled to finish by the end of June next year. This will be some 26 months after seafront work began.

Regeneration work at Pier Square will also take place next year, and the more optimistic among us would hope to see activity at the Tropicana site too.

Of course, we are all excited at the prospect of a new seafront - but will any of our hotels and restaurants survive to see it happen?

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