Newport trader: We’re trying our best to survive during road closures

Owners of a shop near a major road closure say the business has seen sales plummet by as much as 80 per cent since work began.

Wendy and Johal Scott say a road closure has seen trade at their store drop by 80 per cent –and there are another eight weeks to go
Wendy and Johal Scott say a road closure has seen trade at their store drop by 80 per cent –and there are another eight weeks to go

Springfield Stores on Station Road, Newport, has seen custom drop significantly since part of the road was shut off on Monday last week.

In the week and a half since, they say they have really struggled despite efforts by local people, online and on local media to publicise that they are still open.

Wendy Johal, who runs Springfield Stores in Newport with her son Scott, says roadworks are ruining her business

With just over eight weeks left to go until the road re-opens, Wendy Johal, who runs Springfield Stores with her son, said she wasn’t sure they were going to last.

She said: “It hasn’t picked up at all – it’s got a lot worse. We believe it’s dropped by about 80 per cent over what we were taking a fortnight ago.

“There’s still no easy solution. It’s been absolutely dire.”

The signs have been re-organised at the top of the road to ensure that people are aware that the businesses are still open.

But Ms Johal said all that has done is increase the amount of traffic coming down the road and turning around.

“They think the road is still open and so get down as far as the shop and then have to turn around on our car park,” she said.

“We’ve just got to try and keep going as best as we can. We’re trying our hardest, but we’re not sure it’s working. We’ll just have to see.”

Councillor Peter Scott and several other members of the community have been publicising that Springfield Stores, as well as businesses on the nearby industrial estate, are still open during the road closure of Station Road.

A local radio station is also running an hourly advert making listeners aware that they can still access parts of the road.

Ms Johal said she appreciated the efforts they were going to.

“It’s got to be helping – it’s got the word around,” she said. “It’s nice to feel there’s a bit of support, and the local residents are trying to help us as best they can.

“But it feels like a ghost town. Everybody who comes through says the very same thing."

Station Road, one of the main roads in and out of Newport, will be shut for 10 weeks while Shropshire Homes build new sewers in the area. It is tied to the building of 50 homes along the same road. Springfield Stores has been especially hit by the closure, but other businesses on the Springfield Industrial Estate have also been hit by the closure.

Bosses said they felt that nobody cared about their businesses, and that the closure had been made despite the harm it could do to them.

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