“We are still open for business” is the rally cry of shopkeepers on a Clitheroe main street which has been closed to through traffic in order for essential road works.
Businesses on York Street are desperate to let their customers know that they are still open despite the Chatburn Road roundabout end of York Street being closed to through traffic.
Gary Arthur (56), who runs The Barber Shop on York Street, said the roadworks, which are being carried out by Lancashire County Council, are costing him at least £300 per week.
“Trade is definitely down,” said Gary. “It’s not good especially as November has always been a slow month in our trade.”
The barber, whose business has been located on York Street for 25 years August, added: “We rely on passing trade and people driving past especially in the evenings to see how busy we are, but this isn’t happening now.”
Annette Chitty, of Maison Interiors home furniture shop, said her trade is also suffering.
“A lot of people have come in and said they didn’t know if we’d be open or not,” she said. “They just look at the sign saying ‘road closed’ and not the one saying ‘businesses open as usual’.
“I don’t know why they couldn’t do this work during the summer. It’s just such a bad time for businesses in the run up to Christmas.”
Annette went on to say that she feels particularly sorry for the road’s new businesses - Hoof and Rooster bar and grill and Jenni Pho noodle bar.
The work to improve the safety of the roundabout started at the end of last month and should be completed by December 16th.
York Street, which is home to around 15 businesses and Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth Form Centre, was totally closed to traffic from 8am to 5pm from Sunday, October 30th, to Sunday, November 6th, with the county council saying it may be closed when required until the works are completed. The road will once again definitely be closed on Sunday, December 11th, for the relaying of a new road surface. The one-way system on York Street has been revoked while the work is carried out.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Some people were initially concerned about the inconvenience this work might cause, but we have talked the plans through with those who approached us and have been trying to keep disruption to a minimum.
“We’ve worked with the local community to reduce the impact as far as possible, and received thanks from the Clitheroe Concerts Society for ensuring people could easily get to the grammar school for a concert last week.
“We’re currently on schedule for the work to be completed by December 16th, and hope the weather stays good to allow us to achieve this. We’re sorry for any inconvenience in the meantime while we carry out these improvements and are grateful for the patience people have shown.”