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Council 'haven't done enough' to help businesses during roadworks

Managing director of Newbury firm hits out at 'lack of support'

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Council 'haven't done enough' to help businesses during roadworks

THE managing director of a Newbury company has slammed West Berkshire Council for not doing enough to help businesses throughout months of roadworks in the town.

Motorists have endured significant delays and disruption during the year-long closure of Boundary Road and 11 months of off-peak lane closures on the A339 through Newbury.

While the major work is coming to an end in coming weeks, many businesses will be counting the cost for months to come.

Chris Radcliffe, of iStyle Hair & Beauty in Hambridge Road, said: “It has had a massive impact on businesses.

“Over a period of four months we have lost in the region of £20,000.

“We have even had to lay a member of staff off just to get through these past few months financially.

“I’ve had clients call up to say they are stuck on the dual carriageway in traffic and will either have to cancel or reschedule their appointments.

“At no stage has the council been in touch with us to see if there’s anything they can do to help, yet all of our bills have stayed the same.

“We still have to pay high business rates.

“I spoke to someone at the council who said there is no such thing as relief for business rates because of roadworks and said there is nothing they can do in terms of compensation.

“Hambridge Road seems to be constantly affected by roadworks.

“It seems like everything is being done in one hit.

“I’m no planning expert, but maybe don’t close all roads at once.

“Hopefully, now the roadworks are coming to an end we can get back on track.”

Last week, at a West Berkshire Council meeting, opposition leader Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North) asked what the council was doing to help local businesses throughout the roadworks.

To which the executive member for planning and highways, Jeanette Cliffford (Con, Northcroft), replied: “The A339 project will bring genuine benefits to us all.  

“But if there’s one sector in West Berkshire that has a special understanding of the importance of  investing for the future, looking after vital assets and balancing short term pain for long term gain, it’s our business community.

“Our business men and women in West Berkshire know that the A339, our busiest road, is essential to the economic health of our district and they know it has to be looked after.

“The very fact all these separate projects have been combined and co-ordinated is something to celebrate. Overall, this highly-professional planning has reduced cost and disruption – but I know it’s been a long haul.

“We will continue to support local businesses by good planning, good information and being ready to help in special cases:

“If local businesses find they need help with more formal business continuity planning, they should get in touch and we will be able to provide advice

“If local businesses  feel they’ve lost trade because of this project they should get in touch with the Valuation Office Agency, where temporary help might be available with their business rates.”

Mrs Clifford added: “When this huge project is finished, West Berkshire will have an asset to be proud of.

“The A339 will help us provide the new housing that the district needs and it will unlock the economic potential of the London Road Industrial Estate, this strategic site so very near to the centre of the town.

“Good news for local businesses. Good news for us all.”

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Article comments

  • grumpy

    30/01/2017 - 09:09

    What a load of nonsense. I still can't see what advantage the A339 / Faraday road junction is going to be ??


  • NewburyResident

    29/01/2017 - 15:03

    You must realise that WBC don't give a damn about Newbury residents or small businesses. They just want to do schemes that will raise funds and protect the Market Street Office jobs. Nothing to do with service.


  • Oldmoaner

    28/01/2017 - 13:01

    West Berkshire Council do not want businesses in their area it does not generate instant revenue that is why they are ruining Newbury with tenements, these draw instant council tax. What will happen to all the small businesses in Stirling Cables and London Road Industrial Estate, moved so even more congestion. Its a good job the road planning the executive for transport knows whats happening to LRIE because no one in planning has a clue. So Mrs Executive go and see where you can cause as much mayhem next as you do not seem to be in the same world as your electorate. And do not forget the government are paying for this pathetic play acting junction endorsed by our illustrious MP.


  • boris

    28/01/2017 - 10:10

    west berkshire council could not organise a breakfast


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