BUSINESSES that have suffered a 60 per cent drop in footfall due to roadworks are facing another month of disruption.
United Utilities began a project to replace two large sewer pipes under Kendal’s Appleby Road between Fowling Lane and Vine Street on July 21.
But the job, which was supposed to be finished after the school holidays, has now been extended to ‘early October’ – causing further problems for the Kendal Business Park. Brian Harrison, chair of the South Lakes branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s extremely regretful that people are being discouraged from that part of town and it is inevitable that road works will cause disruption and that those businesses will be under threat financially.”
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Craig Burton, of Burning Curiosities, said that his business was 30 per cent down on last year and had endured a 60 per cent plunge in footfall.
“It’s deterred people from coming to this side of town and it’s peak season now as we’re starting to cool down,” said Mr Burton.
Shaun Ellison, of Alexander and Sancto, said he had seen the same footfall reduction and that it was also getting into the peak season for the tile and bathroom industry. Mr Ellison said: “The only light at the end of the tunnel is that there is a process for compensation but we’re only four years old so our trading figures will already be low so it’s a difficult one.”
United Utilities delayed the works after discovering a water leak which led engineers to decide to renew the water pipe as well.
Programme delivery manager Paul Rigby said: “We know the extra time we’ll be working in Appleby Road will be a headache, and we’ll do all we can to get it finished as safely and quickly as we can.”
Once the project is complete Cumbria County Council will return and resurface the full width of the road from Fowling Lane to the Sandylands Lane junction later in the year.