Retailers say roadworks are affecting their businesses

Shop owners in part of Stoke-on-Trent are warning that roadworks are slowly putting them out of business.

We have had reports of delays of up to an hour to get into Tunstall - because of gas upgrades on the Davenport Street roundabout in Longport.

Steve Moorcroft, who runs jewellers Ingots on the High Street said: "Any passing business has become almost non-existent since the gas upgrade work began in April.

"Two shops that are very close to us have shutdown in the past four or five weeks, whether it's the result of passing trade I don't know, but I can certainly say at the time they were having a terrible effect on business.

"I have spoke to lots of other businesses down the high street and without doubt, lots of them are affected by what's going on.

"Trade has been poor on the high street for a few years anyway down to the internet and other things and this is just another nail in the coffin."

Sandwich bar owner Steve Harper said: "We have seen this town dying slowly over the last two or three years, but there is doubt that this last three months the momentum has really picked up and shops and businesses are going quickly.

"We rely on people coming into the town doing the shopping, dropping the watch off for a repair, or just picking a sandwich up and without that kind of people coming in our trades have suffered hugely.

"We lost the banks twelve months ago and obviously footfall suffered. January and February were not too bad this year and then March and April time you would expect trade to start building as people get over the debts from Christmas, but we have seen trade drop shockingly just as a result of people not being able to get into the town."

In a statement Cadent who are carrying out the works said: "We are currently carrying out essential work to replace ageing gas mains in Davenport Street. The work we’re doing is much needed and the gas mains we’re replacing have experienced numerous leaks and replacing them will help ensure the local community keep on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating as well as limiting further disruption.

"We’re doing all we can to complete this essential work as soon as possible with minimal disruption, currently the work is running ahead of schedule and we anticipate that the work should be completed by late July 2019.

"To enable us to carry out the work safely and efficiently we’ve deployed multi-direction traffic lights.

"These  will need to be in place for the duration of the project, apart from a one week period where the multi-way lights will need to be removed and replaced with two-way traffic lights which will be installed on Davenport Street, just north of the roundabout, to enable connection work to be completed. The multi-direction traffic lights will then be installed for the replacement of the project.

"Our customer team visited the site prior to the start of the project with information for local businesses and traders.

"People with enquiries about the project can call our customer helpline on 0161 703 1110."




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