URGENT street repair work needed just two years since its completion will impact trade according to fed-up annoyed business owners - just as they find their feet after the costly impact of lockdown.
Work on Mapplewell’s centre is underway after defects emerged on previous work, done by Harworth Estates.
The repairs - which began earlier this month at no cost to the taxpayer - have already caused disruption to local businesses and residents in the area.
Although the main part of the work will be completed on Sundays only, some minor repairs will continue during the week but without road closures.
Concerns have been raised by local traders about the impacts the work will have on their customers - just as it did in 2018 when trade was adversely affected, they claim.
Robert Birkinshaw, the owner of Birkinshaw Butchers on Greenside, has stressed his customers are the top priority.
“I appreciate that the work is important, but I wish they’d leave the village alone at times as we’re always having something completed or repaired.
“In the week, traffic has been quite steady and I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary, but I do worry that weekends could become more congested.
“We’re just getting back on our feet following the lockdown, especially in the run-up to Christmas, so I worry this could impact our customers.
“As long as people can easily access us then I’m happy. But extensive work could cause disruption.
“I know it must be done, but it might add unnecessary issues.”
Jean Miller, who runs Mapplewell and Staincross Charity Shop, worries that potential customers who would drive past the shop window may be deterred from shopping.
“We’ve been lucky to have a regular customers who have been supporting us during the pandemic,” she said.
“We also have passing customers who drive past our windows and find something that catches their attention - who then park up and visit us.
“I would hope the work doesn’t disrupt these customers from parking up and giving us a visit.
“I have been surprised at how considerate the work has been. The repairs have been completed in the evenings which hasn’t caused much disruption as of yet.”
Coun Harry Spence, who represents the Darton East ward, warned that businesses have ‘already taken a battering’ during the coronavirus lockdown.
He told the Chronicle: “Although this work is completely essential and at no extra cost to the council, I can imagine that this is not helpful to businesses and residents.
“Following the horrendous work done in 2018, these repairs will improve the village in the long-term which is incredibly important.
“I do believe that the contractors are doing everything possible to minimise disruption by only completing major work on Sundays.
“However, this is a real shame for our local businesses that have already taken a battering during the lockdown.
“It does raise the question of whether this is the right time for the work, as businesses are still struggling to get up and running once again.”
Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place, added: “These works did cause some disruption to local businesses and residents when they were carried out in 2018, so it is regrettable that further remedial works are now required.
“However the overall result of the scheme is an improved local street scene.
“The defects identified might not be obvious to members of the public, but it’s important they are put right now, by the developer, before the situation worsens and without burden falling onto local taxpayers.
“I’d like to offer assurance to everyone that we will work with the developer and contractor to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.”
The Chronicle approached Haworth but had no response.
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Mapplewell businesses bemoan repairs chaos
Author: Emma Shepherd
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