No compensation for Shrewsbury roadworks - as weather delays finish
Businesses have been told they will receive no compensation for Shrewsbury’s Wyle Cop roadworks – as fresh closures were delayed by the weather.
A restaurateur is asking for compensation from Shropshire Council over the road closure, which he claims has hit his trade by up to 40 per cent.
But the council says there is no legal duty to help traders affected by the long-running works and that no payments would be made.
Wyle Cop has been closed to traffic travelling downhill for seven weeks. Today John Mustafa who owns the Masala restaurant said customers had been put off going to the area and his takings had been hit.
He made the plea as roadworks which would have closed Wyle Cop in both directions for five consecutive nights, were postponed to March 12 because of the cold weather.
Mr Mustafa said: “The road closure is killing small businesses like ours. We don’t get any compensation from the council and we have been really, really struggling.
“My trade is down 40 per cent, it’s not a small amount. I have spoken to other businesses and everybody is saying the same thing, ask anyone.”
Mr Mustafa said businesses should be compensated for loss of trade during the disruption, which he feared would only get worse during the complete overnight closures.
“People can’t get close to the restaurant to park, so they don’t come to collect their takeaways. As soon as people realise there are road works they don’t bother coming here.”
Shropshire Council said it was not required to offer compensation in such circumstances.
Matt Johnson, the council’s strategic transport and contracts manager, said: “Shropshire Council fully appreciates the challenges presented to motorists and businesses during the current improvement works at the foot of Wyle Cop.
“These works and the associated traffic and pedestrian management measures are necessary both for the safety of the workforce involved and to ensure that the programme of improvements can be delivered effectively and on schedule.
“Throughout the works period, all closures and associated traffic management proposals are required to be approved by the local streetworks team.
“In doing so, the advanced planning and management during works is designed in such a way as to minimise as far as possible the impact on residents, businesses and motorists.”
The one-way downhill road closure began on January 26 for pavement upgrades, and business owners said at the time they were ‘optimistic’ that footfall would not be badly affected.
The work is the latest stage of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package – the £12 million scheme which has already seen major revamps of Meole Brace, Sutton Park and Reabrook roundabouts, Coleham Head and the English Bridge gyratory.
Responding to Mr Mustafa’s call for compensation, Mr Johnson said there was was “no statutory mechanism” requiring the council to consider this in such cases.
He added: “Shropshire Council apologises for the inconvenience caused on this occasion, but trust that the reason for these key improvement works, and the measures taken to minimise the impact on resident and businesses, is clear.”
Why the work has been delayed
Shropshire Council took the decision to reschedule the planned works to resurface the road between Wyle Cop and English Bridge after plunging temperatures and snow were predicted by the forecasters.
The resurfacing work was due to take place overnight for five nights, starting on Monday. However, the work is now expected to start on the week beginning March 12.
As previously planned the work will take place overnight for a period of five nights, between 8pm and 6am. During these times Wyle Cop will be closed in both directions and Beeches Lane (Town Walls) will also be closed. The roads will fully reopen at 6am each morning.
A Shropshire Council spokesman said: "The low temperatures, both day and night, are also affecting the upgrading works to the footway as the new materials require laying temperatures higher than those forecast for the remainder of this week.
"As the footway is not yet in a condition to be reopened to the public, the current traffic management arrangements are due to remain in place until Friday March 9 by which time higher temperatures should allow the works to be completed. As such, Wyle Cop will continue to be closed to traffic in a downhill direction (out of town) until this date, and the signed diversion route will remain in place."