Not enough notice for road closure

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A local businessman has hit out at Angus Council over the lack of warning and organisation of road resurfacing works at Swan Street and Clerk Street.

Businesses in the area were given notice of the work on Friday, just a few days before work commenced on the Monday.

During the Monday afternoon a window was broken at Boots the Chemist as a result of the pavement sweeper which was clearing the road of rubble.

The driver of the Mackenzie Plant road sweeper said: “I wondered what had happened when I heard the window break. A bit of rubble from the sweeper has been swept into the window.

“I have contacted the relevant people and have taken a photo of the damage caused. They will be in touch with Boots on Tuesday (yesterday).”

Bill Sturrock from Print Matters said: “Everyone appreciates that it had to be done because the street was in a pretty poor state but to give businesses effectively 24 hours notice to make alternative arrangements for delivery and things like that is pretty short.

“I think the bigger problem is the lack of signage in the town itself, directing the traffic, particularly heavy goods vehicles that are going everywhere, trying to get about the town, and causing grid lock.

“Along at the Lloyds TSB and up Airlie Street it is absolute chaos.

“Earlier there were four articulated lorries sitting and nobody could move whilst they tried to manoeuvre round the corner.

“Trucks had to reverse back along the street to allow the traffic to get past. It was an absolute disaster.

“They need to get signs up at the bypass to divert heavy traffic back onto the bypass to alert HGV drivers not to come into town along this route if they can avoid going this way.

“There is no signage at the bypass to let HGVs know that if they they will not get into the town very easily.

“As a business we cannot get deliveries at the moment.

“We have had to reschedule our workload. If we had been given more notice we could have worked out our deliveries to take into consideration the workload that we have to ensure we had enough stock to complete the work.

“Another problem that we have is that we were going to be starting the renovation to the front shop which had been damaged because of the weather we had in winter when we had burst pipes.

“Work was meant to start this week but we cannot get a skip dropped because the road is being resurfaced.

“This had all been arranged and they had been here last week, with work to commence this week.

“Now we have had to put them off on Friday afternoon because the road is being closed.

“It could be another month until they can come and do the work.

“I am not denying that people will benefit when the road is improved but, to give us a few days notice is just not acceptable and it would appear that traffic management has not been thought about. It is pretty poor.

“It is not doing any of the businesses in Swan Street and St David Street any favours. It would appear that there has been no provision for deliveries for shops in the area.”

Bill Sturrock was not the only businessperson left uncertain about he they would be able to get deliveries and who had noticed a drop in business due to the roadworks.

Mrs Phillips from Pets Pantry had a delivery on Monday morning which resulted in the driver having to reverse the wrong way along a one way street.

This was something that neighbouring Hydro Electrics delivery driver also had to do.

Mrs Phillips said: “If people are wanting to buy a big bag of dog food or cat litter they are not able to get down the road with their cars.

“Our delivery driver had to reverse the wrong way on the one-way street to be able to carry out his delivery.

“We cannot re-arrange our deliveries, we have to get them. Our delivery on Thursday is often at the same time as the Hydro get theirs.

“Business has been quieter and nobody has been buying big bags of things because they just cannot carry the bags to where they have managed to get parked.”

Kellie McCombie added: “We had a delivery this morning but they had to come in the wrong way. We have a delivery due on Thursday and and we have to get it.

“Business has been dead, much quieter than usual.”

Nilima Puthu from Boots the Chemist said: “We were given the letter on Friday and fortunately we have not got a delivery for oxygen this week because there would have been no way that it could have been delivered.

“We could maybe get our delivery vans to get access but we can’t tell at the moment.

“Our usual driver would probably have been able to find a way to get to the shop to deliver but we are not sure whether the driver we have at the moment will manage.

“When we got our delivery this morning (Monday) work had not begun so the driver was able to get in.

“When we got the letter it stated that Swan Street and Clerk Street was where the work was taking place. We are on St David Street so we were not expecting the work to go as far across as it has.

“We are hopeful that we can still manage to get deliveries to come to the building.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We apologise for the short notice given to residents and businesses in the Swan Street and Clerk Street area relating to the road works which began today, Monday, March 14.

“The letter drop advising of the work was only carried out on Friday, March 11 due to difficulties with programming of the work and contractor availability, combined with other technical issues to do with issuing the letters.

“We are putting out extra signs and liaising with businesses to try to assist with deliveries.

“Anyone in the area experiencing problems should contact the council’s roads department by telephoning the ACCESSLine 08452 777778 or the number given on the letter they received on Friday.”