‘Road­works putting my sales out of step’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Town Centre Changes - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A busi­ness owner has is­sued an ap­peal to cus­tomers after a huge drop in sales caused by road­works.

Kate Austen runs Pod­plus at the Julie Rose Sta­dium in Ash­ford, pro­vid­ing ser­vices such as chi­ropody, phys­io­ther­apy and mas­sages and goods such as in­soles for shoes for those with in­juries.

The busi­ness has been run­ning for 12 years, but Ms Austen says sales have slumped after work to widen the A2070 Ken­ning­ton Road started a fort­night ago.

Work is fo­cused on the main pinch-point in the road, be­tween the junc­tion with Black­wall Road North and the bridge over the River Stour.

The road has been closed to through traf­fic while the work is car­ried out un­til the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber, but mo­torists can still ac­cess the Julie Rose Sta­dium via the Spear­point round­about on the A28.

Ms Austen said: “Over the last two weeks we have seen sales 60% down on nor­mal.

“If this con­tin­ues over the next 10 weeks it will have a huge im­pact on our busi­ness.

“Our ap­point­ments are still busy, and we’re look­ing to book in more people.

“But we sell prod­ucts which help people get into the right footwear and we could be miss­ing pass­ing trade.

“We want to say that even though the road is closed, we are still open and cus­tomers can still get to us with­out re­stric­tions.”

Ms Austen said that the di­ver­sion for mo­torists ap­proach­ing via Willes­bor­ough Lees is long and com­pli­cated and could be hav­ing an im­pact, but says the county high­ways team have put up enough signs.

She added: “High­ways have been good at com­mu­ni­cat­ing with us, but no­body can fol­low the di­ver­sion signs.

“So we’re ask­ing cus­tomers to con­tact us if they’d like help or di­rec­tions, as we will do our best to di­rect them.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the busi­ness visit www.pod­plus. co.uk or call 01233 660851.

Work is pro­gress­ing on the widen­ing scheme for Ken­ning­ton Road, Willes­bor­ough, but driv­ers face long diversions

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