Traders an­gry as road clo­sure hits busi­ness

Cus­tomers were left con­fused, say shop own­ers

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - PETER JOHN MEIKLEM pmeik­lem@the­

Busi­nesses on Ge­orge Street in Perth say they have lost out on po­ten­tially thou­sands of pounds of trade dur­ing a re­cent road clo­sure.

The route was sched­uled to be shut at the junc­tion be­tween High Street, Water­gate and Ge­orge Street from Oc­to­ber 8 for a week so Scot­tish Wa­ter could carry out main­te­nance work.

Although ac­cess was per­mit­ted from the Bridge Lane end of the street, lo­cal busi­nesses have said the di­rec­tions were not clear enough.

While “no en­try” re­stric­tions were lifted for the du­ra­tion of the works, traders say the usual sign at the top of the street was not cov­ered up, mean­ing driv­ers would be un­aware of their tem­po­rary rights.

Pass­ing trade was hit and busi­nesses re­ported prob­lems with de­liv­er­ies, with at least one lorry full of per­ish­able goods not turn­ing up as ex­pected.

Laura Wil­son, 58, from gift shop Whis­pers of the Past, said: “You just need to look around to see what an ef­fect it’s had. It’s very quiet and I have lost trade.

“There’s been no real sig­nage to tell peo­ple that they can still park. They don’t know they can come up to the top of the road and get in that way.”

Diane Brown, 51, from deli Proven­der Brown, said: “It’s had an ef­fect on our tak­ings. It’s been a very quiet week – much qui­eter than usual. It has been very dif­fi­cult for de­liv­er­ies to get through.

“I do won­der if they needed to close the road com­pletely. The hole was rel­a­tively small and not across the en­tire junc­tion, but I don’t know.”

Drew Richards, 68, of JM Richards Cy­cles , said: “You just have to ac­cept it. If work needs to be done then it needs to be done.

“It has af­fected us big time. I had one woman tele­phone me and she was quite nasty on the call. I had to say it was noth­ing to do with us.

“But there’s no al­ter­na­tive. The coun­cil sent us let­ters ex­plain­ing what was go­ing to hap­pen,” he added.

A coun­cil note is­sued be­fore the works be­gan ad­vised that all traf­fic would be banned from the 70 me­tre stretch of road from Oc­to­ber 8 for one week.

The note said the one-way sys­tem on Water­gate would be lifted to al­low ac­cess and that pedes­trian and ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess to premises will be main­tained.

A Scot­tish Wa­ter spokesman said: “The work we have been car­ry­ing out on the wa­ter net­work in Ge­orge Street is es­sen­tial to en­sure cus­tomers can con­tinue to en­joy clear, fresh drink­ing wa­ter long into the fu­ture.

“Any road clo­sure is al­ways a last re­sort and the po­si­tion and depth of the mains in the road means a lane clo­sure was un­avoid­able to com­plete this work safely. The work was sched­uled for the school hol­i­days in an ef­fort to min­imise dis­rup­tion as much as pos­si­ble.

“Our traf­fic man­age­ment com­pany put sig­nage in place, as agreed with other stake­hold­ers, to en­sure traf­fic could con­tinue to flow around the city.”

Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil had not com­mented be­fore go­ing to press.

I do won­der if they needed to close the road com­pletely. The hole was rel­a­tively small and not across the en­tire junc­tion

Pic­ture: Kris Miller.

Ge­orge Street/High Street in Perth de­serted yes­ter­day dur­ing main­te­nance work.

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