PLANS by Barnsley Council to improve Goldthorpe are doing little to improve trade, claim shopkeepers.
The town’s traders are up in arms over “botched-up” pavement work , that has led to a downturn in takings at several stores.
The paving work paid for by European funds as part of a larger improvement programme was due to end days ago, claim traders on Barnsley and Doncaster Roads.
But the ‘bombsite’ is a lingering problem, made worse by large council wagons being parked in all available places including disabled bays.
Delivery vans and lorries can’t get near due to diggers, claim shopkeepers.
And on Tuesday this week the problems were made worse when a rear slip-road used by many delivery lorries was closed, to allow for work to be done.
Traders were incensed that they had received no prior warning of this happening.
The work that has been ongoing for over six weeks now, involves taking up the original pathways and parking bays along the road and replacing with coloured paving slabs.
“It’s a nightmare,” said Nigel Trickett of Retail Flooring.
“They’ve dug this big hole and just left it. Work started on February 21 and was to be done and dusted within two weeks. But it’s still not done and we’ve been told it will be another month before they lay new foundation slabs. We can’t carry on like this.”
Nigel said the work wasn’t even supported originally by traders, who had requested diagonal parking slots instead.
“We were told the area wasn’t suitable for diagonal spaces,” explained Nigel. “But what they’re doing instead seems ridiculous.”
They have enlisted the help of local councillors and have approached Dearne MP John Healey about the issue.
“They seem to be constantly digging their own work back up to start again for various reasons,” claimed Nigel. “It’s crucifying Goldthorpe.”
He continued: “Customers who do still visit ridicule the whole thing. Everyone’s moaning about it. Some places are suffering more than others. The newsagency has reported being up to 50 per cent down on takings.
“They’ve left us about a metre of path and folk just aren’t bothering to come up. It’s not right. At least five traders have written to the Council to complain to my knowledge.”
Letters sent to business owners and tenants by Barnsley Council supplied them with contacts, and blamed the extended work period on the ‘discovery of unforeseen concrete slabs in the footway that needed to be broken out and replaced.” Works on Barnsley Road are almost complete, they added.