Businesses hit hard with Winslow ‘under siege’ from gas works

Winslow shop owners complaining about the roadworks on the High Street
Winslow shop owners complaining about the roadworks on the High Street

Winslow is ‘under siege’ from gas works and local businesses are being hit hard, according to furious shopkeepers.

Temporary traffic lights are currently causing traffic chaos and diggers are filling the air with dust.

Roadworks in Winslow

Roadworks in Winslow

The gas supply upgrade is scheduled to continue for the next three weeks and small businesses have already seen a dramatic drop in custom.

Jenna Tomlins, who runs Unique Pets, said her takings are down by £700 this week because shoppers are avoiding the town and delivery drivers cannot reach the shop.

She thinks if the disruption continues, many High Street shops could be forced to shut completely.

“We’re under siege,” she said. “The road’s been dug up three times in the past 12 months and the traffic queues are ridiculous.

“People are avoiding Winslow like the plague. It’s destroying small businesses.

“We can’t get any deliveries, we’re getting complaints from customers, and we are losing so much money.

“It’s getting to the stage where I’m thinking Winslow is not a viable place to have a business – it’s getting that bad.”

Miss Tomlins said she was amazed not to be notified that the work was taking place.

She said: “It’s just ridiculous. Residents got the leaflets through the door but not one business got it.”

A spokesman for SGN, which is carrying out the gas works, said it started in Vicarage Road in March.

And the workmen have now progressed into High Street, working in sections along to Elmfields Gate.

She said: “We apologise for any inconvenience our essential work may cause and we thank the Winslow community for their ongoing patience during our project.

“We have a compensation scheme in place for local businesses which suffer a genuine loss of trade because of our work. We would encourage any local business owner who feels they have suffered a loss of trade to submit an application. Our engineers have made good progress and our project is ahead of schedule.

“All being well, we’ll finish our work in Winslow town centre during the week commencing Monday, May 23.”