Businesses on Ovenden Road in Halifax are outraged at Northern Gas Network’s decision to start major roadworks during the busy festive shopping period.
Anthia Wyn Orchard, the owner of Cardelium card shop, did not receive a letter warning her about the works and had no opportunity to prepare for the disturbance.
“If the roadworks happened during the summer months, when the shops are quiet, I wouldn’t mind so much. The last set of roadworks happened at Christmas time and it nearly destroyed my business,” she said.
Work began on October 21, and some businesses have already experienced a drop in trade.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare, the traffic is so bad that people are not going to want to come to the shop.It will really affect our pre-Christmas trade and we could end up losing thousands of pounds. I haven’t had a single customer in today,“ said Darren Leach, owner of Cuttin Edge Carpets.
“It’s caused major issues for most of the businesses in this area. A lot of us are small, family run businesses and this is the second time in two years that we’ve had roadworks start up with no notice or warning.If the last lot of roadworks are anything to go by, we could be looking at a 25 per cent loss,” said Jordan Hitchon-Anderson, one of the business owners for Nimbus Vapes Ltd.
As well as impacting local businesses, commuters will also face long delays. Husain Shaukat, an employee at Computer Warehouse said: “The traffic jams are huge and it’s hard to find a parking place. My drive to work is usually only five minutes but this morning it took thirty-five. It’s really frustrating.”
Chris Nevison, Business Operations Lead at Northern Gas Networks, said: “Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is carrying out essential work to replace ageing metal gas pipes in Ovenden Road, Halifax, to keep the gas flowing to heat homes and power businesses so customers are safe and warm for generations to come.
“Making local residents and businesses who will be impacted by our work aware in good time is an important part of our job. This includes on the ground engagement in the local area, sending letters to notify customers who are directly impacted at least 10 days in advance of work starting, dedicated Customer Care Officers door knocking customers before the work begins and putting up road signage.
“NGN wrote to 74 properties on and around Ovenden Road to tell them about the works, but two properties which should have received letters unfortunately did not. We apologise to those two businesses, but have since been in touch with them in person to explain about the works and to answer any questions that they have.
“The gas pipe replacement work is due to end on 20 November, before the main run up to the busy Christmas period, and local businesses will not be affected over the festive period itself. Shops and businesses will remain open as usual throughout the essential work and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”