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Roadworks hit Rainham traders hard

PUBLISHED: 18:00 13 November 2012

Clement Smith, Christopher Haig, Bibim Patel, Lucy Swan & Ali Soyler claim the one way system is damaging their business

Clement Smith, Christopher Haig, Bibim Patel, Lucy Swan & Ali Soyler claim the one way system is damaging their business

Archant

Shopkeepers say that they have lost out on thousands of pounds of business due to the constuction of the Rainham Village one way system.

The traders say that the village has turned into a ghost town since work started on the one way system six weeks ago.

Lucy Swan, the owner of florists Village Bloom in Upminster Road South says that she has been forced to lay off four staff after losing £3,000.

She said: “Last week I made £40 and if things don’t pick up I will have to close.

“The one way system has taken away all of the passing traffic away and there is just no way that I can survive.”

The works mean that drivers can only come into Upminster Road South via the entrance to Tesco in Bridge Road.

Work is also being done to build a road linking Upminster Road South and Viking Way.

Chris Haijaick, the owner of Aaron’s Surplus Army and Navy shop has said that his footfall has halved since work started.

He said: “We are seriously suffering, they need to give us a break.

“They didn’t speak to us about the impact that it would have on our businesses.

“If nothing changes from now to the first quarter, then we will have to shut down because the profits from the run up to Christmas keeps us going for the early part of the year.”

Chris Clark, who runs the Wood Work Shop, whose takings have been reduced by 25 per cent said: “It’s affecting all of us, there isn’t one single trader in the village that hasn’t been affected.

“It’s widespread and no one is exempt.”

Local councillor and shopkeeper, Jeff Tucker(Independent Local Residents’ Group) urged the shopkeepers not to give up on the one way system before it is completed.

He said: “The work is affecting the whole village, but the shopkeepers have to be patient.

“We have to give it a chance and I think that things will be better when the work is done.”

The shopkeepers are calling for better signposting in the village to remind residents that the shops are still open.

Councillor Michael Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Transformation said: “As requested by local residents and business we have redesigned the roads around Rainham village so that cars can park directly outside the shops and traffic can move more easily around the village. While we have been doing this work, we have had to put temporary road works in place so we can get the work completed before Christmas and not put motorists in danger.”

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