Corner shop owner says roadworks in Grimsby have left him 'down £1k a week'
"I HAVE lost up to 100 customers every day and I'm down £1,000 a week on takings – we are just a small corner shop."
Five weeks into a ten-week power supply upgrade, small businesses continue to the count the cost that roadworks in central Grimsby are having on trade.
As reported, the £3 million scheme – laying new cables in Pyewipe Road and Boulevard Avenue – has a one-way system diverting traffic and bus routes.
Northern Powergrid has confirmed it is on schedule, but the completion date cannot come soon enough for businesses in the area.
Vernon Bromley, the owner of Lord Street News, claimed he is 100 customers down a day because traffic is being diverted away.
He said: "We have lost some of the trade first thing on a morning because some people have decided to go via other routes, but more than anything, afternoon trade is terrible because we don't get anyone coming home from work or from the A180.
"We are a small corner shop which relies on passing trade and we have seen a big fall in our business. I would say that, overall, we are £1,000 a week down on our normal takings.
"Obviously this has to be done, but what I don't get is the road is closed off in its entirety for the whole time. Ten weeks is a very long time.
"It would have been better if they could have done it in stages because at certain points the road would be open as the digging progresses."
When the scheme was first announced, many businesses expressed concern about the effect it could have on trade.
Frustrated motorists found themselves in long queues as they travel over the flyover near Riby Square, and bus passengers told how they are experiencing problems "daily ".
A Northern Powergrid spokesman said: "The works are proceeding to plan.
"We and the contractor would like to thank everyone for their patience whilst this work is being carried out.
"Our contractor, Balfour Beatty, has said that one complete closure is the most effective way of working. It means they can have more gangs working on the project and therefore complete the job quicker."
Businesses could be eligible for a rates rebate because of the roadworks. All it takes is a simple application process to the Valuation Office Agency – to find out more, visit www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/index.html