Lengthy road clo­sure ‘will kill ev­ery­thing’

Busi­ness own­ers fear ef­fect of six-month works

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger

IN­DE­PEN­DENT busi­ness own­ers in the cen­tre of Hayes have voiced grave con­cerns over the fu­ture of shops when a busy main road closes for six months.

Hilling­don Coun­cil will be car­ry­ing out ma­jor works from Mon­day, which will mean Sta­tion Road is closed to traf­fic for six to seven months, and Crown Close for a fur­ther four to five months.

The owner of World Wines and Spir­its, Rupin­der Singh Obhrai, has said he ‘might as well shut up and go home’ when the work starts, say­ing it will take away a large slice of his sales.

Mr Singh Obhrai, who has owned the store for 37 years, said: “No­body is in favour of clos­ing it com­pletely for six months.

“It’s go­ing to kill ev­ery­thing. They haven’t no­ti­fied any of the re­tail­ers. We just got a leaflet on Mon­day.”

The work will in­clude in­stalling a new pedes­trian cross­ing in Sta­tion Road, cy­cle lanes sep­a­rate from traf­fic and a new raised junc­tion in Crown Close.

There will also be a new foot­path, ad­di­tional pay and dis­play park­ing with 30 min­utes free, and changes that al­low traf­fic to travel south­bound along Crown Close.

It is the lat­est is­sue to have an­gered those us­ing the town cen­tre, as driv­ers have also been up in arms af­ter re­ceiv­ing un­ex­pected fines for us­ing the turn­ing point out­side Hayes and Har­ling­ton train sta­tion.

Work­ing hours dur­ing the work are set to be between 8am and 5pm.

Mr Singh Obhrai, who is the trea­surer of the Hayes Town Busi­ness Fo­rum, added: “When they shut the road in 1992 we lost 40 per cent of our busi­ness and we never re­gained that.

“If they shut it down com­pletely we’ll end up los­ing around 30 to 40 per cent.

“We might as well shut up and go home. We can’t sur­vive an­other six months of clo­sure.”

In 1992, Hilling­don Coun­cil fully pedes­tri­anised the north­ern end of Sta­tion Road, which is one of the main shop­ping streets in the town cen­tre, block­ing off the through-road to Botwell Lane and Cold­har­bour Lane.

Mr Singh Obhrai’s warn­ing has been echoed by the chair­man of the busi­ness fo­rum A S Puar, who owns Puar Fash­ion and Travel, in Cold­har­bour Lane.

Mr Puar said: “I’m quite an­noyed. We do ob­ject and we will be ob­ject­ing all the time. We’d like them to do work on one side and leave traf­fic com­ing in on the other side.”

The Hayes Town Busi­ness Fo­rum cur­rently has around 80 mem­bers, most of whom are in­de­pen­dent busi­ness own­ers.

Mr Puar added: “Of course it will af­fect busi­ness when there’s no traf­fic com­ing through. It will be better [when work is fin­ished] but we don’t want to drive peo­ple out.”

In the leaflet handed out to busi­nesses, Hilling­don Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for plan­ning, trans­porta­tion and re­cy­cling, coun­cil­lor Keith Bur­rows, said: “Our part­ner­ship is help­ing the coun­cil to make Hilling­don a better place to live, work and visit. By main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing the streets to make them safer and less con­gested and help­ing breath­ing new life into our town cen­tres, we’re pav­ing the way for a brighter fu­ture for Hilling­don.”

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