Road chaos hitting restaurants’ trade
9:30am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in By Emma Dunn, @EmmaDunnn
BUSINESS owners say trade is suffering because of road closures in Royal Wootton Bassett High Street.
James Huynh, who owns Oriental Aroma, said business is down by 60 per cent due to closures between St Bartholomew’s Church and the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart.
These are taking place from 7pm right through until midnight on weekdays until October 5.
Last Thursday, road closure signs were moved up as far as the Lime Kiln for one night and James said it had a knock on effect on his business.
“We had 37 people booked in the restaurant and two people managed to turn up.
“I was expecting to take about £700 but I only made £70 - that is 10 per cent of what we usually take,” he said.
“I understand that they have to do the work, but they should man it properly with signage.
“People weren’t able to get to our car park and were turned away.
“It is very upsetting the fact that you drive up there and there is nobody about.
“There is a sign that says businesses are open as usual but how can it be if there is a massive road closure sign.”
Road closures started for resurfacing work on September 17.
James has spoken to Wiltshire Council and it has been agreed that work will only take place from Monday to Thursday from now on.
Parking is free in Sainsbury's car park from 7pm while the High Street is closed and James is encouraging people to make the most of it.
“We are still open and still running. Restaurants, pubs and businesses are still trading in the evening.
“It is hard for us to trade with these roadworks.
“We are begging people to not just go somewhere else. We have our own car park too,” he said.
Chinese and English takeaway, China Chef, has closed temporarily while the work is carried out.
A sign on the door said: “We regret to inform - due to the High Street road closures, we are closing for a short period.
“We shall re-open Friday 5, October at 11.30am. Apologies and thank you for your kind understanding with this matter.”
The Royal Inn, opposite, has seen takings drop by 40 per cent.
Landlord, Bryn Stew, said: “The wet trade is fine but the food trade has got a lot quieter.
“With wet trade, people aren’t going to drive and have a few beers, they are still walking up from various parts of the town.
“But certainly the food has been hit.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “There was extensive consultation with the town council and local businesses about these roadworks.
“The preferred option was to have weekday night working for three weeks.
“After speaking with a local business people it was agreed work would only be carried out on one Friday evening.”
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