Norfolk Street traders criticise council over road closures
PUBLISHED: 15:45 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:13 02 June 2010
By ADAM LAZZARI FURIOUS traders based on one of Wisbech s busiest streets have hit out at Cambridgeshire County Council s handling of road closures. The normally bustling Norfolk Street has resembled a ghost town this week while nearby Church Terrace and
By ADAM LAZZARI
FURIOUS traders based on one of Wisbech's busiest streets have hit out at Cambridgeshire County Council's handling of road closures.
The normally bustling Norfolk Street has resembled a ghost town this week while nearby Church Terrace and West Street have been closed for resurfacing, leaving the street isolated from traffic.
Work started on Monday and was due to be completed by the end of Thursday.
Debbie Jacklin, chairperson of the Norfolk Street Traders' Association, said: "There are more than 30 businesses on this street losing so much trade. In these economic times they can't afford to lose four hours' business, let alone four days' worth.
"The general feeling is that the traffic management could have been handled better. They could have done half a road at a time and used a traffic light system. The workers always seem to leave at 4pm. The work could have been done in the evenings.
"It seems the council has done everything legally, so nobody will be able to claim any compensation, I just wish more consideration has been shown for the traders."
Michelle Rochelle, from Cheeky Monkeyz, which sells children's clothing and nursery products, said on Tuesday: "I may not even bother to open tomorrow. Many of my customers are pregnant women - they can't walk here. The road closure signs should point out alternative routes to nearby car parks but they don't."
Lorren Carter from Stylistics Hair Salon said: "We had two customers in all day yesterday. People have been cancelling appointments because they can't get here."
Shelly Knight, from the Five Bells pub said: "We've been dead at lunch times. The council is killing business on Norfolk Street."
Cambridgeshire County Council's highway supervisor Charlie Bedford said: "The resurfacing is vital for road safety but we understand and apologise for the inconvenience caused.
"The works should take four days to complete and a diversion has been set up to minimise the disruption as much as possible.
"The council never likes to close roads but in this case it means the works can be carried out much quicker rather than having weeks of traffic lights as well as being much safer for residents, businesses and workers.
"The works were also programmed to be carried out in the summer holidays when traditionally there is less traffic around and local traders were all informed in advance. "We would like to thank traders and motorists for their patience and we aim to get the road reopened as soon as possible.
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