Road up – but business down

PUBLISHED: 13:16 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010

OPEN?AS?USUAL: Patricia Rose, left, and staff member Sue Bowman at the entrance to their shop, with the construction work clearly visible outside. Picture: BRIAN PURDY

OPEN?AS?USUAL: Patricia Rose, left, and staff member Sue Bowman at the entrance to their shop, with the construction work clearly visible outside. Picture: BRIAN PURDY

SHOPKEEPER Patricia Rose says it took her nine years to build her small business, the Woodshop, but contractors tearing up nearby footpaths and roads have taken just nine weeks to nearly destroy it. Mrs Rose says trade has been so badly affected by work o

POINTER: Temporary sign showing that the Woodshop is still open, despite the construction work.

SHOPKEEPER Patricia Rose says it took her nine years to build her small business, the Woodshop, but contractors tearing up nearby footpaths and roads have taken just nine weeks to nearly destroy it.

Mrs Rose says trade has been so badly affected by work on the Nene Waterfront development that she has been forced to work part-time for someone else to make ends meet.

"We have had no compensation or anything," she said.

"The only thing we've been offered is help from the contractors unloading deliveries or taking customers' orders to their cars. But that has happened infrequently."

Fenland District Council stepped in this week with the offer, which she has accepted, to pay for an advertisement in this week's Wisbech Standard.

A council spokesman said: "We sympathise with Pat Rose. However the contractor has provided signage, offered to assist with deliveries, and offered to help out with advertising for her business.

"It is unfortunate that the works took longer than anticipated to complete because of additional works required by utility companies laying pipes and cables.

"We have tried to help by publicising in Fenland Eye the fact that the Woodshop is open for business, despite the construction works currently going on in the area and we have agreed to pay for an advertisement to further reinforce that the shop is open.

"The works in the area are near completion and the improved environment will be of future benefit to businesses in the area."

But Mrs Rose is despondent about trade returning, even when the area returns to normal.

"The trouble is people see the mess and are simply not coming down," she said. "I've phoned two councillors but they just pass it to the developers. The council simply doesn't want to know; they're getting all these trophies for doing stuff but they are not going to help me get compensation."

She added: "Everything I've saved over the years has now had to be ploughed back into the business to keep it afloat.

"But it's got so bad our trade is easily down 40 per cent. There was one day we took only £16, and another just £8."

Mrs Rose says she now works part-time in a clothes shop and her suppliers, which she prided herself on always paying up front, had agreed a line of credit to enable her to recover.

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