Businesses say traffic jams and diversions caused by electrical work in Grimsby are 'decimating' sales
JUST days into a 10-week electricity cable scheme, businesses claim their trade has been "decimated" and motorists are being caught up in traffic jams.
Northern Powergrid is laying new cables along Pyewipe Road and Boulevard Avenue, in Grimsby, as part of a £3-million upgrade to the area's power supply.
A one-way scheme has been put in place diverting traffic and bus routes, leaving firms counting the cost of the impact it is having on custom.
Today, Northern Powergrid has apologised to anyone adversely affected by the scheme.
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Builders merchant Jewson claims it has lost half its usual trade due to the roadworks.
Assistant branch manager Mick Thickett said: "Normally we would have up to 50 customers each day and so far we have only had around 25 – and this is just the first week of the scheme.
"A lot of our customers are taking longer to get to us, so many of them are not even trying and going off to other firms.
"Also, we've been told we will have our only access point completely blocked for the installation of the new pipework.
"I have contacted the contractors in anticipation of this closure and asked them to carry out the work outside of trading hours, preferably this weekend.
"It would cause chaos as our articulated lorries will not be able to get in or out. As it is, our customers have to turn right and get caught up in the queues – it is not good."
Motorists are experiencing long tailbacks as traffic is diverted along the A180 to Lockhill roundabout.
This is having a knock-on effect on drivers travelling over the flyover near Riby Square, and bus passengers say they are experiencing problems "daily".
George Baker is chairman of the transport committee of Eng-Age, the local group which examines transport issues.
He said: "We have fought hard for a better bus service in the West Marsh, and now have the number one and two that serves both Lord Street and Corporation Street.
"Passenger numbers are increasing, but there is a danger that with buses temporarily being unable to run down these streets, people will not return to them once the roadworks are over.
"That could well place in peril the long-term survival of a commercial bus operation in the ward."