When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
'Roadworks make town a no-go zone for shoppers'
TRADERS say they are facing a month of lost footfall and business as the main road through Chipping Norton is closed.
The £400,000 A44 resurfacing project means traffic is prohibited in the town centre until August 26. Businesses say footfall has decreased since the works began on August 5 and they are worried about the long-term impact.
Oxfordshire County Council insists that the work must be done. There is also concern about the notice businesses were given, with many claiming they were told about ten days before work started.
But the county council discussed its plans with Chipping Norton Town Council in April and the town council said businesses were made aware at the end of June and the issue was discussed at a full council meeting on July 15.
Trevor Beadle, of Beadle’s butchers, in Market Street, said: “I should have gone on holiday. I won’t take enough to pay wages.
“We weren’t given enough notice. It has never been like this before.”
Lee Brain, Mr Beadle’s shop manager, said: “It’s got even quieter this week and we really struggled to pay the wages last week.”
Bippity Boo onwer Lisa Barnes said: “It’s hard to tell how it is going to impact, but if it keeps like it is I might close for a couple of weeks so I can earn money elsewhere. I have my rent and bills to pay.”
Debbie Roger, co-owner of Roger’s fishmonger in New Street, said: “There was a serious shortfall in footfall today. It is having a serious effect.
“There wasn’t enough consultation with businesses. On a week by week comparison we took much less money this Tuesday than the previous Tuesday. People must just think Chippy is closed.”
Town Mayor Mike Tysoe said: “We thought Oxfordshire County Council had this under control. They know who in the town pays business rates and they have lots of staff to let everyone know.”
County council deputy leader Rodney Rose said: “I don’t accept that we should consult whether maintenance should be carried out. It is a statutory duty to make sure we do that.”