Independent Wetherby business owner slams council for North Street roadwork chaos

Andrew Ploughman of the Frying Pan
Andrew Ploughman of the Frying Pan

A North Street business owner says he is fearing for his future following weeks of roadworks with further disruptions and road closures planned.

Businesses on the High Street and North Street have been forced to contend with five weeks of interruptions following roadworks planned by Leeds City Council.

Roadworks on North Street

Roadworks on North Street

Andrew Ploughman, owner of The Frying Pan, said for the past two weeks customers have been unable to access his restaurant as a result of the works.

However, after battling against traffic signals and barriers in front of the shop since the start of September, Mr Ploughman was "shocked" when he received another letter from the council.

He was informed that there would be another three weeks of resurfacing work from 6.30pm, forcing the closure of both the roads in Wetherby.

Mr Ploughman has slammed the effect this will have on his business, as well as others in the area, and the lack of consultation from the council.

He said: "Apart from the first three or four weeks in January which are always tough, I don't remember having a worse two weeks in the six years I've owned the business.

"Given that my type of business relies heavily on footfall, this has had a significant effect on my takings and the disruption is now set to continue.

"A huge proportion of my customers are from passing trade, we are on a main road and if you take that away then we're in trouble.

"These new road closures which will take place only in the evenings are going to kill my business. It won't have much impact on the day time economy but it will directly affect us."

Mr Ploughman wrote to Leeds City Council on Monday, September 12, to express his concerns with the ongoing roadworks and the perceived lack of progress made by the workmen.

The business owner said he has still not had the "courtesy of a reply" from the council who have shown him him a "complete lack of regard".

He said: "The progress made by the workmen was utterly shameful. It took them two weeks just to work on a stretch of 45 metres.

"As we see it, these new roadworks are just the work that should have been done in the first place.

"There's been no consultation and no regard whatsoever for businesses. I accept that they have to do their job but there's been no regard for the effect it will have.

"If my customers can't get here they will go somewhere else. It's a worrying time and I fear I won't be able to maintain my income in these few weeks."

Mr Ploughman said he is hoping for some "reassurance" from Leeds City Council that he will be compensated for loss of business.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “The improvement works to North Street and High Street in Wetherby have taken longer than expected and we apologise to anyone inconvenienced by this.

"The work has been tailored to the needs of local businesses and residents to lessen the impact which does mean it has taken longer to complete.

"But the work is now scheduled to be completed by mid-October so we would ask for patience while the new road surface is put in place.” indipendent