Traders fear a downturn when Clifton road is closed for tram works
PARTS of a major road in Clifton will be closed for eight months due to tram works.
The £570m project to build new lines to Chilwell and Beeston via the Queen's Medical Centre and Clifton via Wilford is well under way.
The works in Southchurch Drive, Clifton, which involve moving pipes and cables, installing tracks and building tram stops, start on March 11.
The road will be closed to through-traffic, including buses, between the Swansdowne Drive and Green Lane junctions.
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The only traffic allowed will be vehicles delivering to shops and people going to Clifton Leisure Centre.
All shops, including Clifton Market, will be open as usual – but traders say they will still lose out.
Bob Sherwin, owner of car dealer Bob Sherwin Limited, said: "I dread to think what will happen to the business. I've been here more than 34 years and I am always busy.
"We have a good customer base but the closure will create a massive inconvenience to my customers.
"And if they decide to leave and go somewhere else they're very unlikely to come back.
"I can't predict in numbers how this is going to affect me, but it will hit us hard."
And Dean Kerry, who owns a stall on the road selling fruit and vegetables, said: "We won't have the through traffic, people getting on and off buses or driving through, stopping to get their bits and bobs.
"I think I will probably lose 30 to 40 per cent of our business."
Project director Chris Deas said: "We have thought carefully how best to undertake the main tram works in Clifton.
"Although it will not be possible to drive along the whole length of Southchurch Drive, including part of the main shopping area, a temporary shopper's car park and bus stops will be provided on Green Lane, close to the shops. Clifton Market will also be open as normal.
"The Clifton shops are predominantly for local people and, although there will be some disruption experienced, we are confident that the approach taken will ensure that people can continue to visit the shopping area. The partial closure has been designed to reduce the time necessary to carry out the works and ensures that Clifton centre can return to normal as quickly as possible."
Further information about the tram extension can be found at www.thetram.net/phasetwo.