Trader calls for compensation after 40 per cent drop in sales during roadworksBy Jon Nurse
March 07, 2013
An angry trader is calling for compensation after sales plummeted around 40 per cent as road works continue in the town centre.
Rahul Sood, owner of Flower Corner in Broad Street, says he has been let down by borough councillors as South East Water’s £2 million project moves into Shute End.
Many retailers noticed a drop in trade while the water company installed a 200m pipe in Broad Street during three weeks last month.
The work finished early and the road has reopened to one-way traffic, but engineers moved into Shute End on Monday, which is due to be shut until Monday, April 1.
Mr Sood said: “It’s had a big knock-on effect and speaking to other businesses around everyone is on the same page. It has killed the business – the way they have done it has been a mess. They have taken my sales for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, which are big events for us.
“When I look at our sales from last year, they have gone down by 25 to 40 per cent.”
He continued: “The borough council should compensate the businesses. I’ve asked for a concession on business rates – but they should have sorted this before. Our councillors should be more involved in these things. Why has no-one stood up for us so far?”
Shute End is closed between its junctions with Rectory Road and Station Road, with Bracknell-bound traffic diverted via Reading Road, Robinhood Lane, Davis Street, Lodge Road, Wokingham Road, Twyford Road, Milton Road and Glebelands Road.
Reading-bound traffic must travel via Market Place, Denmark Street and Station Road.
James Smith, South East Water delivery manager, said: “Our work in Broad Street and Shute End was always going to be the most difficult and we are working hard to minimise the disruption caused.
“We would encourage people to come and support the local shops which are very much open for business.
“I would like to reassure the community our contractors are working hard to complete this final section of work in the town centre as quickly and as safely as possible.”
For more information about the programme of work visit www.southeastwater.co.uk/wokingham or www.getwokingham.co.uk.