Business owners who have been hit hard by the closure of the Cottingham Road bridge in Corby will meet rail bosses on Friday to ask them to compensate them.
Some traders in the Old Village are said to be on the brink of going out of business after work to raise the Cottingham Road railway bridge over-ran, leaving them cut-off from the rest of Corby.
Yesterday, the Northants Telegraph launched Bridge Watch to try to ensure that Network Rail opens the bridge on October 19 - the new date it has given to local businesses for reopening.
However, shopkeepers say that they will now ask for a goodwill payment from Network Rail.
Our Bridge Watch campaign is also being backed by Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Beth Miller, who has been working with shopkeepers since the beginning of the year to help them through the tough period. Beth will also be at Friday’s meeting.
Gaye Hood-Henry, who runs Much Loved in the Old Village, said: “Network Rail have a department called Complaints and Compensation.
“People have approached them about compensation but nothing has happened.
“I’m not happy because we’re still in no better a place than we were nine months ago.
“There’s no way they’ll be able to compensate businesses for their losses but they could make a goodwill gesture of, perhaps, £2,000 per shopfront which would go some way to helping.
“There are some shops that are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.”
Network Rail have promised to begin an immediate advertising campaign to help businesses through the next few weeks although there is no evidence this campaign has yet begun.
Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor at Network Rail apologises for the delay in reopening the bridge and said : “We will be starting an immediate advertising campaign to support local businesses and ensure people know they are open and accessible, whilst the diversion is in place.
“We are working closely with partners to ensure the work on the bridge is finished as quickly as possible and we’d like to thank residents for their patience whilst we complete this vital upgrade.”