Road resurfacing work costing businesses cash

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Local businesses claim that they have lost thousands as a result of road resurfacing work on Swan Street and Clerk Street.

This is the second time in as many weeks that businesses across Brechin have reported reduced business as a result of roadworks carried out by Angus Council.

Last week businesses at St Ninian’s Square claimed to have suffered from lost sales as a result of pavement extension work.

This week businesses on Swan Street have claimed to have lost sales as a result of road resurfacing work in the area.

Faisal Naseem, owner the Party Time convenience store in Swan Street, claims to have lost almost £2000 as a result of the road resurfacing work.

Speaking on Friday, he said: “We are a lot quieter than normal. We are not getting any passing trade whatsoever and an indication of that is that bread and milk are not selling, resulting in a lot of waste. You cannot return them. Once they are gone they are gone and it is just basically putting the lost goods in the bin.

“In figures I am losing at least £200 to £250 a day and that is adding up. As the week has went on I am losing more each day.

“Customers are not wanting to walk under the scaffolding and they do not want to cross the road because of the tarring that is happening.

“The diversions have not been set up properly and pedestrians are not being shown where to go. People have found it hard to get across the road and have just given up.

“There have also been problems with getting deliveries.

“Customers who are used to coming to the shop but cannot get to us may have found somewhere else to shop. They may now have changed their route and may have got used to shopping somewhere else.

“All you need is a week of the customer going somewhere else for them to decided to keep with that routine and you lose that customer. Once customers are gone it is not easy to get them back.

“Many of my customers have mentioned and I know myself of many other roads in Brechin which need work done to them more than the roads here. I don’t even remember there being a pot-hole or even a crack. The road was fine.”

Another local business owner, Craig Scott of WM Hendry, has also suffered from the roadworks, seeing his business lose between £3500 and £4000 over the week.

Craig said: “We ended up closing at lunchtime on Tuesday and early on Wednesday. The main problem for us was people were having to walk too far to get to the shop so they did not do that.

“If we had known beforehand that these works were going to take place we would have cut back on our stock levels.

“We are now sitting with extra stock and this has left us with cash flow problems. What we order one week we pay for the next.

“We ordered the stock for last week before we knew the roadworks were happening.

“There is no business in Brechin that can cope with losing money like that.

“The council should have planned for this and told us sooner so that we could plan for it.

“Shutting off what is effectively the town centre is the last thing that Brechin needed.

“When they did Castle Street they did it half at a time and used traffic lights to flow the traffic. Why did they not do that here?

“If you look about the roads in and around Brechin and Angus there are far worse stretches that need done before these.

“Considering the current economic climate, I can’t understand why money is being wasted in such a way.

“When they were doing the work they scraped away the surface of the road and then left it for three days. Could they not have built a walkway during those few days to allow people to cross the street easier?

“There is also the worry that people may now have got into the routine of using other shops now and may now not return to shop here.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The road has been programmed to be resurfaced for several months but has been delayed due to other works.

“The road, which is a main A class road, is a major artery through Brechin and was in particularly poor condition with major cracking of the surface particularly around the pedestrian crossing and junction with the High Street.

“We would normally use traffic lights where possible but the road was too narrow and to meet health and safety requirements with the need for safety margins the road had to be closed.

“We have a statutory duty to manage and maintain adopted roads at public expense.

“To let the road condition continue to deteriorate would either result in the need for ongoing repairs which would eventually become uneconomic or to the eventual closure of the road which would be unlikely to find favour.

“While the council has a statutory duty to maintain the road under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 with a power to close the road temporarily to allow the works to proceed safely under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the council has no statutory obligation to compensate businesses.”