Roadworks could ‘kill businesses’

Michelle Wright outside her business Tiger Tatz in High Road, Balby.
Michelle Wright outside her business Tiger Tatz in High Road, Balby.
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IT’s going to cost us a lot of money.

That’s the unanimous verdict of traders facing up to months of roadworks misery outside their shops on one of Doncaster’s busiest roads.

Next month contractors start the mammoth task of replacing the gas mains on the A630 along Warsmsworth Road and Balby Road - and massive disruption is expected.

“There’s not much we can do about it,” is the resigned response from most of the shopkeepers who spoke to The Star.

It is only a few weeks since work to create a new bus lane and junction on High Road near Greenfield Lane were completed and trade is just getting back to normal before it is affected again.

Victoria Williams, who runs the Viktor Victoria unisex hair salon, said: “I made a 50 per cent loss, probably about £2,000, while the last roadworks were on and it’s only just starting to pick up again.

“People are only just realising they can get to us again after all those weeks. People who have been back said they just couldn’t be bothered to sit in traffic for ages to get to us.

“Now we’re faced with it all again. I think Doncaster Council will kill small businesses if this carries on,” said the 26-year-old.

“But what can I do about it? No matter how many times you ring or write letters to the council they don’t do anything.”

Debbie Bennett, who owns the BeDazzled nail salon on High Road, said she had also lost business during the winter roadworks and expected to be hit again.

“A lot of my clients come in their lunchbreak so won’t be able to come if they are stuck in traffic for ages.

“I had to make more appointments at the weekend and work longer hours to make up some of my losses. Some people were put off coming at all. I’m not looking forward to another lot of roadworks but there’s not much I can do about it.”

Tiger Tatz tattoo and tarot reading parlour was affected by the previous road works and proprietors Dave and Michelle Wright are dreading another period of disruption.

“It’s got massive implications for us because people see the traffic jams and think ‘what’s the point’ of sitting in traffic for an hour to get to us. It’s time and money to a lot of people,” said Michelle.

“We think we lost about 50 per cent of trade last time but we still have rent and overheads to pay.

Her husband added: “Why can’t they plan these things better, so they’re not digging the same road up twice.

“We’re hit as a business and as residents because we get stuck in the jams just taking the kids to school. It caused mayhem last time.”

Tiger Tatz staff are also concerned that noise from the road diggers will disturb the tranquility of their massage and tarot sessions, as well as creating lots of dust in the shop over the summer.

Doncaster Council says the gas pipe replacement scheme has to be carried out in summer when demand for gas is low and it was not possible to do both schemes at the same time because the lane closures would be different.