Shop owners left in the dark about roadworks

Mayor Fergus Macdonald with Su Pinkney from With Complements and Dev Patel from Burton Newsagents
Mayor Fergus Macdonald with Su Pinkney from With Complements and Dev Patel from Burton Newsagents
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Traders say they are severely out of pocket after utility companies dug up the road outside their businesses – without giving them notice.

The High Street in Burton Latimer was partially blocked and parking spaces taken over by roadworks for the laying of utility supplies for four planned houses and two shops.

And although they were finished yesterday, traders voiced their anger about the time taken to carry out the works and the lack of notice they were given.

Dev Patel, of Burton Newsagents, said the 10 days of works had had an effect on his business, which he said relied on passing trade.

At 11am on Monday he said he had taken £300 compared to the usual £700 to £800 he took before the roadworks started.

He said: “The companies have come here, dug up the road, put down traffic lights and taken up parking spaces – how are people going to know I’m even here?

“We saw the number of customers coming in here plummet.

“What has made it worse is they did not tell us they were coming or how long they were going to be here for.”

Also affected was florist With Complements, also in High Street.

Owner Su Pinckney said she had taken a total £37.99 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Monday the shop was closed.

She said: “It was a bit of a shock to see them the day they all turned up – I’m just relieved now that they’ve gone. I don’t know why we were not told.”

Town mayor Fergus Macdonald agreed.

He said: “I think it is completely wrong that the council or contractor did not give notice to any of these businesses.”

But a spokesman for the county council said: “There is no statutory obligation for companies carrying out work on the highway to advertise they are doing so.

“However, the county council does make this information public.”