Traders in despair over roadworks

PUBLISHED: 09:55 13 March 2006 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 May 2010

SHOP owners in Weston town centre are threatening to withhold council tax payments because they say roadworks have stopped them trading. The traders in West Street say many of them have taken little or no money for days because of the road works and some

SHOP owners in Weston town centre are threatening to withhold council tax payments because they say roadworks have stopped them trading.The traders in West Street say many of them have taken little or no money for days because of the road works and some businesses are in danger of closing.The work is part of North Somerset Council's enhancement scheme in the Grove Village area.Justin Weldon, co-owner of Juicy Bits, said: "When we all arrived to find the entire road closed and dug up it was complete despair."Some were in tears and others didn't even bother opening because it was pointless."Our shop is losing about £300 a day and we are having to give most of our staff time off and work for free ourselves."This work, mixed with all the parking being taken away and the police ticketing everything that pulls up for five minutes, makes all of us feel like the authorities don't want businesses down this end of town. "The end result of the road works won't help our businesses. We feel like they are doing everything in their power to close us down."The traders are entitled to some compensation for the loss of trade or as a group we are prepared to withhold council tax."Martin Rose, of Corinium Designer Jewellery, said: "I couldn't even get the shutters open on my shop and if I could, customers would have to stare at the products from across the road."I haven't taken any money for days and closed the shop one day and put a message on the answering machine saying it is because of the road works."We weren't told there would be drainage work which involved digging the entire road up."We thought the road would be closed in small sections at a time because we were reassured our trade would not be affected. What a joke."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "The path widening work means drainage work has to take place."Since we were notified about the problems with the shutters we went down and rectified the situation."We have met with traders and tried to keep them up to date on the progress of the work."We are putting up some business as usual signs imminently and are happy to listen to any concerns traders have.

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