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'Chaotic' Staplegrove roadworks ruining business, says trader
A TRADER says “chaotic” roadworks in Staplegrove are ruining her trade because people do not know she is open.
Disgruntled Mandy Richards, of Taunton, says since the roadworks started last week she has noticed a dramatic drop in the number of customers coming into her business, Village World in Corkscrew Lane.
The work in Manor Road is expected to last another 2½ weeks as contractors build road humps, improve street lighting, and introduce new signs and lines.
Mandy said: “I’m devastated because if I’m not trading it’s terrible. Signs at the end of the road say it’s closed, but I’m in the middle.
“Normally there’s a lot of passing trade, which I rely on, but I’ve only had one or two customers because the diversions are taking traffic away from me and it looks like we’re closed.
“I’ve had a few customers ring me saying they tried to get through, but they couldn’t, and people are being put off because of all the road closed signs – it’s chaos.”
Manor Road is closed between the junction with Rectory Drive and Lawn Road with traffic being diverted along Staplegrove Road, Green-way Road, Kingston Road and Corkscrew Lane.
Western Power is also replacing underground electricity cables while the work takes place.
Contractors for Somerset County Council have placed a sign advising motorists that businesses are open as normal, but Mandy said she wants a specific ‘Village World is open’ notice placed on the junction to Kingston Road.
Mandy, who set up in business in 1998, said the drop in trade could put her under pressure as she hopes to cash in on early Christmas shoppers.
She said: “Some of my regular customers still know I’m open, but if trade stays as low as it is for the next four weeks it’s really going to affect me because October’s normally one of the busiest months of the year.
“It can be a struggle in the retail sector without all this on top.”
A county council spokesman said it understands there will be disruption, but added that there are signs at both ends of the closure to make it clear that businesses are open as usual.
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