Traders angry as road closure hits business
Customers were left confused, say shop owners
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
George Street/High Street in Perth deserted yesterday during maintenance work.