Tram work will put us out of business, say worried traders
SHOP owners in Clifton have said that the disruption caused by the building work for the new tram is putting them out of business.
In a room above the Cob Shop in Southchurch Drive, Clifton, shop owners yesterday met with council bosses to complain about how the construction works were driving away trade.
Work on moving pipes and cables, installing tracks, new sewers, and building tram stops in Southchurch Drive, Clifton, started on Monday, March 11, and the road has been closed to vehicles.
But temporary fences have also been put up just two metres away from the front door of many shops, leaving business owners unhappy because they fear customers think they are shut.
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"If it carries on like this in four weeks I'll be out of business," said John Barlow, 42, who owns 1st 4 Pets.
"I made just £480 last week and this week could be even less.
"It's frustrating because I know the new tram has to happen and will be a good thing, but it has definitely driven away trade – people can't park anywhere.
"I have spent many sleepless and tearful nights worrying about this.
"I have had my business for 13 years and have put too much money into it to see it go up the swanny."
Kevin Clarke, who owns two businesses NG11 Cabs and the Cob Shop, also said he had seen a drop in takings.
He said: "We have taken around 35 per cent less than we normally would and if it carries on like this for many more weeks I will definitely be laying someone off, I'm going to have to.
"This is the second phase of the tram – shouldn't the council have foreseen that this would have been a problem and had an effect on trade?
"I at least think they should drop the rates that we have had to pay."
And carpet shop owner David Ford said that the fences were so close to his shop front that he couldn't get deliveries.
"It is causing a problem and the sooner those fences can be taken down the better," he said.
The meeting was told the fences would be outside shop fronts for at least another two to three weeks while new sewers were installed.
Steve Tough, team leader for NET, said he would take the feedback he had heard and relay it back to councillors.
He also said he would raise the issue of compensation for shop owners and would explore the possibilities of creating a temporary car park on wasteland at the back of the shops.
Have you been affected by the tram works? Email email@example.com or join the debate at thisisnottingham.co.uk