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'Temporary' one-way road hits traders in the pocket

PUBLISHED: 16:30 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:00 23 August 2010

ANGER: Business owners want answers

ANGER: Business owners want answers

BUSINESS owners claim they are losing hundreds of pounds each day in trade because a road was made a temporary one-way system - TWO years ago. Echo Square in Gravesend has been undergoing essential gas repairs for several weeks causing traffic chaos and

BUSINESS owners claim they are losing hundreds of pounds each day in trade because a road was made a temporary one-way system - TWO years ago.

Echo Square in Gravesend has been undergoing essential gas repairs for several weeks causing traffic chaos and a negative business on trade.

But while owners accept the gas works are expected to finish in days and the situation will improve they have been left in limbo over the road system in Cross Lane East.

In November this year it will be two years since bollards were placed on the road outside several businesses to stop lorries using the road while improvements were made to the A2, a project that was completed months ago.

Muhunnthan Nagendran, of the Premier supermarket, estimates takings have been down about £150 a day since the concrete barriers were installed.

He said: "The gas works are essential and will come and go but we are still hampered by this ridiculous situation.

"Originally the road was made one-way as lorries used the road as a cut through when A2 widening scheme got underway. This is now complete yet they still insist on keeping it one-way. I came here about seven-and-a-half years ago and trade was excellent, there were no problems. Since the one-way system we have been losing £100 to £150 a day. People going past no longer stop, it's like they don't know we are here."

Janet Waite, who set up The Sewing Shop 12 years ago, says the indecision in the road system has cost her trade despite having two more school's on her book this year.

George Girling, 52, opened Laptop World in April under the understanding the system would revert back to its original state.

He said: "There is no reason why we cannot revert back as the A2 widening is up and running. I have a shop front that no-one sees, we are still paying the same rent yet we are massively disadvantaged at a time when this country is facing a recession."

KCC Highways recently sent letters to business owners informing them the system would return to normal once gas works were complete.

But Stephen Bewick, who owns Swans Kitchens and Bathrooms, has said they were not informed that the road system was once again 'under review' and claimed the temporary measure could remain another year.

He said: "I have not noticed an affect on trade and that is not my issue.

"We were told the bollards would be removed, we now understand this is not the case yet we were not notified of the possibility that this would become one-way on a permanent basis. We pay the rates, we should be informed."

A KCC spokesperson said: "The closure on the road is currently still in place to help manage the traffic while the gas replacement works are going on around Echo Square. We are assessing whether the 'No Entry' should be retained and the issue will be discussed at the next Gravesham Joint Transportation Board meeting on September 9 to recommend whether the closure should remain or not.

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