Trade hit by roadworks

NAWN 1707173AM Unhappy local business man and chair of The Wetherby Business Association Nish Kanabar. (1707173AM)
NAWN 1707173AM Unhappy local business man and chair of The Wetherby Business Association Nish Kanabar. (1707173AM)

Businesses in Wetherby have seen trade drop by up to 30 per cent during major roadworks in the town according to a leading retailer.

Chairman of Wetherby Business Association Coun Nish Kanabar welcomed the reopening of Boston Road last Friday after repairs to Micklethwaite wall were completed ahead of schedule.

But he added: “I would say, talking to businesses around the town, on average trade was down by 15-30 per cent depending on the type of business, during the roadworks.

“We constantly kept the public up-to-date about the roads on social media, in the press and on radio, that it was business as normal but I would say that some people will have stayed away.”

The Wetherby town councillor added: “It’s been tough for a lot of businesses, as the roadworks started in January of this year, with the gasworks, and have been ongoing since.

“So, hopefully they are all out of the way now, in time for the key trading period.”

Workmen moved in this summer to repair the wall along Boston Road, that was damaged in the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

To allow the works to be completed safely, the road was reduced to a single carriageway, with work scheduled to finish in November.

But last Friday Kenny Harkis, Area Network Manager (Leeds North) for Leeds City Council Highways, confirmed that the road was to be fully reopened that evening.

“We met with the contractor this morning and the wall repair/rebuild has been fully completed ahead of schedule with all associated damage to the footpath repaired to specification.”

He added that work was underway to clear the site and there would be other work in the area during the week but nothing that would affect traffic.

The partial closure had caused complaints as drivers were forced on a long diversion and it coincided with the complete closure of St James’s Street in the town during the school summer holidays and the closure of Linton Bridge.

Wetherby Town Mayor Coun Norma Harrington welcomed the reopening of the major route into the town.

She said: “The early completion of the re-building of the Micklethwaite wall is a great achievement for all concerned from the Management Committee who worked so hard to get the Insurers to get the work approved, to Leeds City Council for the traffic management allowing the work to be undertaken safely, and for the contractors who worked so hard to finish the work early with as little disruption as possible.

“Thank you to everyone for their patience during this frustrating period.”