Angry traders in Epworth are demanding urgent action as they face a week of traffic hell and a ban on high street parking.
They say the ban on parking is biting into profits after closure of Burnham Road junction to repair a house that suffered severe damage after a lorry crashed into its lounge.
To exacerbate the problem a diversion of HGVs and farm traffic through town is making it hazardous for shoppers who have to negotiate the busy street as huge vehicles attempt to pass in the narrow road, say traders.
High Street trader Mike Harm, of NE1 Clothing, blamed councillors for a lack of action at the notorious junction where the accident happened last month.
He said: “A similar accident happened at the junction about four months ago. We asked councillors then to do something to make the spot safer, but they appear to have done nothing. Now we get these problems.”
Town traders angry at roadworks
Robin Adair, owner of Inside Outside gift shop opposite NE1, said lack of adequate parking had been an issue in Epworth since he moved to the area seven years ago and things had not improved and added: “Large volumes of traffic plough through here day and night. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a very serious accident.”
Owner of Mimosa kitchen ware and home ware shop in the busiest part of High Street, Janet Oldridge, said: “While roadworks take place the council has suspended parking. However, the signs are ambiguous as signs are still in place saying people can park for two hours. Drivers have always done this but now it seems if they do a warden gives them a ticket. Driving people away is affecting trade – it is quieter than normal.”
Her message was reiterated by stylist at Elegance hair salon in busy High Street, Samantha Parker, who said: “The parking ban is affecting trade. People are cancelling appointments and turning away if they can’t park, but the signs aren’t that clear. If there is a parking ban then traffic wardens should be down here every single day. Instead they seem to come down only once a week.”
North Lincolnshire councillor, Liz Redfern who lives in Epworth, said she sympathised with traders and added: ““I completely agree with the retailers frustration about temporary changes to parking. It being harvest time we have also seen an increase in heavy vehicles going through the town. Working with Andrew Percy and Coun Robinson we managed to secure a new car park on Albion Hill and that has helped massively in recent times.
“I know that some on the Town Council have suggested that we should charge for car parking. However, whilst ever the Conservatives control the council we will not be charging residents and visitors to park in Epworth. In the meantime we will be monitoring the situation really closely and working with traders.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Following the accident on the A161 at Epworth it is required for reasons of safety to rebuild the damaged property. In order to achieve this the A161 will need to be closed, when this happened previously a signed diversion for HGV traffic was introduced and local traffic was able to use adjacent roads. The Road closure will be from midnight on Tuesday 27th August for 2 weeks until Tuesday September 10.”