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Traffic chaos driving customers away
11:30am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
TRAFFIC chaos at one of the busiest junctions in Chard is hitting businesses and motorists as roadworks drive potential customers away.
Traders have described Victoria Avenue in Chard as deserted with passing trade virtually non-existent.
Wales and West Utilities have been working for the past fortnight at the roundabout where Victoria Avenue, Crewkerne Road, East Street and Tapstone Road meet, four-way signals marshalling traffic.
The work has hit trade for businesses and it is feared that although the work is scheduled to finish by this weekend, the gas mains project might overrun.
Colin Normanton, of Chequered Flag Tyre Services in Victoria Avenue, said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare.
“It’s like hell down here and passing trade is non-existent. Everyone seems to be avoiding the area like the plague.
“You might as well be standing on the moon – Victoria Avenue is like the Marie Celeste.”
Mayor of Chard Cllr Cathie Morrison said she had spoken with Wales and West Utilities and been told it hoped to finish on time.
Cllr Morrison said she first became aware of problems with the works when businesses in the area said they were losing out on passing trade.
“I want to support our local businesses but these works are causing no ends of problems,” she said.
“I’ve noticed more traffic using Glynswood and Henson Park. Local people will know a way round to avoid that area, which will have a detrimental impact on businesses which rely on passing trade.
“People who don’t know the area are just getting stuck in traffic and confused by the signage.”
Dominic James, of the newly-opened Tiki Hut cafe, which stands on the junction of Victoria Avenue and the roundabout, said: “All of the businesses at this end of town are suffering as traffic is avoiding this area.
“Pedestrians are also avoiding this area because it is a bit of a nightmare obstacle course.
“Our business is taking a third of what it should be and other businesses are in a similar position.
Tesco shoppers have also been stuck in queues to get in and out of the store.
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