A Burnham-On-Sea business has temporarily closed and several others say the business has been badly hit by major roadworks in the town center – as a fresh appeal is issued to encourage locals to support them .
12 weeks of roadworks began in January in Victoria Street and surrounding roads as Wales & West Utilities carry out an £185,000 project to upgrade gas mains.
Several businesses say their business has been affected due to fewer parking spaces, as well as the closure of some roads and sidewalks.
A cafe, ‘Souped Up’ in Victoria Street, which opened in December, has temporarily closed due to the disruption.
Owner Lauren Varnfield told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It’s been a nightmare. I closed because it costs money every day to be open when construction is on my doorstep.
“I was told they would have left a week ago. I spoke to an engineer this morning and he told me it would be next week now that they would be moving.
Heidi Crook, of nearby Chatterbox cafe on Victoria Street, adds: “A lot of our regular customers don’t have been because they can’t park. Some are old and have blue badges but there is no room at all.
“Doing both water and gas work is just ridiculous, it’s pretty much shut down our part of town. It’s just total chaos, the road signs are not clear enough.
However, Steve Scott of Scotts Furnishings says: “The workers are very efficient and as helpful as possible when we are blocking the road with deliveries. Business is still very good and does not appear to have been affected. Our January sale returned to pre-Covid levels and exceeded them. »
“The only problem is that the big trucks delivering to us have no choice but to block the road. This causes great stress for motorists who are waiting, but the road must be dug and we must be allowed to trade. Our apologies go out to anyone who is delayed while we unload. I’m amazed at how well the roadwork crew does their job.
Donna Berry at Paws and Bark pet supply store in Victoria Street says the disruption was ‘massive’, adding: ‘No customers can currently park outside. On Tuesday, customers couldn’t even walk to us because a section of the sidewalk was closed. She is currently seeking compensation.
The Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Commerce has expressed concern at the scale of the disruption and is encouraging local people to support businesses in the affected area.
Wales & West Utilities says the work, which started on January 10, should, barring technical difficulties, be completed by the end of April. The company adds that it has “worked closely with Somerset County Council to plan essential works and ensure disruption is kept to a minimum”.
Jake Sami, who is managing the gas line upgrade works, says: “Although most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of Burnham-On residents. -Sea. “Whether it’s heating your home, cooking dinner with the family, or taking a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and available when you need it. “
“This work is critical to keeping gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to making sure the gas grid is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part. role in a green future.”
The road plan includes:
- A one-way southbound system on Victoria Street between January 10 and March 4.
- A one-way westbound system on Princess Street between January 31 and February 25.
- Road closures on Regent Street, George Street and High Street between January 31 and March 11. A diversion route will be marked.
- A footpath closure limiting access between Victoria Street and Oxford Street, and a westbound one-way system on College Street between February 14 and February 25.
- A road closure on Chapel Street between February 28 and March 25. A diversion route will be marked.
The company’s customer service team says it is ready to take calls if residents and businesses have questions about the works. You can contact them on 0800 912 2999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org