CHIP SHOP OWNER: ‘TOLL BAR ROUND­ABOUT ROAD­WORKS WILL KILL MY BUSI­NESS’

NEW WALTHAM CHIP SHOP OWNER SPEAKS OUT

Grimsby Telegraph - - Front Page - By Con­nor Lynch con­nor.lynch@reach­plc.com

TOLL Bar round­about “D-Day” has ar­rived as the coun­cil pre­pares to make the fi­nal de­ci­sion on the con­tro­ver­sial junc­tion. Lo­cal res­i­dents, busi­nesses, politi­cians and even the nearby school have spo­ken out against North East Lin­colnshire Coun­cil’s plans, feel­ing that they will be dis­as­trous for the area. The school has con­cerns for school chil­dren’s safety, as do lo­cal res­i­dents who also fear up to eight months of hell as the works to rip up the round­about and in­stall traf­fic lights takes place, shut­ting down what they see to be a key artery into their vil­lages of Waltham and New Waltham.

Lo­cal busi­ness own­ers also fear for their fu­ture, be­liev­ing that peo­ple will avoid the area en­tirely – cost­ing them valu­able foot­fall that they can­not af­ford to lose.

Sa­man­tha Bu­ley is one of those busi­ness own­ers, who runs Peaks Lane Fish Bar, Peaks Lane, New Waltham, which won the 2016 Grimsby Tele­graph Fish and Chips of the Year com­pe­ti­tion and she has spo­ken out about her fears for the fu­ture: “I bought the Peaks Lane Fish Bar two-and-a-half years ago and since then I have put ev­ery­thing that I have into this busi­ness to get it to where it is. I haven’t had a hol­i­day since I took over the place be­cause I am just not in a po­si­tion to take one, I need to fo­cus on my busi­ness. “When we started off it was tough, but I feel that we quickly earned a rep­u­ta­tion lo­cally and got our­selves to a place where we where com­fort­able and it has been a joy work­ing here in New Waltham.

“But in March things took a turn for the worst when the road works started at the bot­tom of the road to widen the junc­tion at He­witts Av­enue.

“It felt like we went through six months of hell, be­cause the road was closed and peo­ple sim­ply found it too dif­fi­cult to come to our shop. I would of­ten see reg­u­lar cus­tomers in town who would come up to me and tell me how much they wished they could get to the shop, but with the road be­ing closed it was far too hard for them.

“We saw our trade cut in half, be­cause we were not get­ting the pass­ing trade that small busi­nesses like mine rely on. The shop next door to mine had to shut and the shop next to it is now up for sale, those six months cost us so much.

“The only way that we man­aged to stay open was by tak­ing out a loan to cover the costs, be­cause we felt that we could pull things back once the road was open again.

“When the road opened our trade picked up straight away and things were good again, but now I fear that we are about to take an­other hit again which will sim­ply kill us.

“I have al­ready taken out a loan on the busi­ness to stay open and can’t go back and get an­other. “I have writ­ten to the coun­cil to ex­press my views, but the only real re­sponse that I got was ‘don’t worry when all of the houses have been built, you will get lots of foot­fall’.

“I am not sure that they un­der­stand that houses that will be built in two or three years will be of no use to me if I have to close my busi­ness in the next six months be­cause of Toll Bar round­about.

“I have even writ­ten to the leader of the coun­cil to tell him of my fears and shared with him the steps that I have had to take re­cently just to stay open, but he never got back to me.

“I thought that the coun­cil was sup­posed to be look­ing out for small busi­nesses like mine, but it seems to me they are far more in­ter­ested in out of town de­vel­op­ers.

“I just don’t see why the coun­cil can­not aban­don this plan, there is such over­whelm­ing op­po­si­tion to the whole thing I just do not see why it would go ahead. I re­ally hope that they just stop it al­to­gether.”

The North East Lin­colnshire Coun­cil Cab­i­net will make the fi­nal de­ci­sion on Toll Bar round­about at 2pm to­day.

Sa­man­tha Bu­ley, from Peaks Lane Fish Bar, says traf­fic lights and the work in­volved at Toll­bar round­about could put her out of busi­ness.

Traf­fic back­ing up along He­witts Av­enue dur­ing the tem­po­rary clo­sure of Peaks Lane, New Waltham, whilst road­works were car­ried out.

Other busi­nesses along Peaks Lane are also said to be strug­gling.

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