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Saturday, 27 December 2014

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New roadworks ‘could cripple our business’ claim shop owners

Shop owners fear roadworks which could last up to six months will cripple their town centre business.

Elaine Gunning photo
Elaine Gunning

Workington will be thrown into chaos later this month when work begins to upgrade pipes around the town, bringing road closures, traffic lights and parking restrictions.

The first stage will hit part of Oxford Street on the stretch of road between South Watt Street and Vulcan’s Lane.

Elaine Gunning and Helen Graham own Graham’s takeaway on Oxford Street and say their trade is only just on the road to recovery following the 2009 floods, when a number of bridges in the town collapsed or closed.

“We’re up in arms about this,” Elaine told the News & Star. “This will definitely affect us. We have never picked up fully from the floods. We lost a lot of money and got by on the skin of our teeth and it is all going to happen again.

“This is absolutely disgraceful.”

She added there were a lot of businesses on the street – including the fish and chip shop and pharmacy – which would all be affected if cars could not pull up outside.

Listers Baby Shop, also on Oxford Street, gains a lot of custom from new parents buying prams, cots and car seats. A spokeswoman from the shop also feared the business would be hit if customers were not able to pull outside of the building to collect items.

Northern Gas Networks is planning to replace metal piping with plastic pipes under six of the town’s major roads and through routes.

Work will start on August 18 and see the road outside of Workington Library closed for two weeks.

The second phase will affect Murray Road, between the bus station and Upton Street with parking bays closed for four weeks.

Vulcan’s Lane will then be targeted for 10 weeks and works will also affect Park Lane, William Street and Wybrow Terrace.

Northern Gas Networks has sent out letters to householders and businesses which will be affected by the work.

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