Gas works in Exeter Road have ‘killed trade’, says business

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 April 2017

Angela Alvarez (upper right of store entrance) would 'never' had opened CHOC-A-BLOC in September had she known about the road works.

Angela Alvarez (upper right of store entrance) would 'never' had opened CHOC-A-BLOC in September had she known about the road works.

Archant

An Exmouth shop owner is to shut her store in Exeter Road - saying that a six-month road closure has ‘killed’ business.

Angela Alvarez opened CHOC-A-BLOC in September last year, but after eight months she has decided to shut up shop after ongoing gas works in the town centre caused her to miss out on trade.

Angela told the Journal: “During January and February business was killed stone dead. I might as well have not been here.

“Had I known the road was going to be closed, I never would have opened this shop at that time.

“I just think it’s an absolute disaster. The Exeter Road is open all the way along to Park Hotel and then we have to turn right, but on the road by the Powder Monkey it says ‘road ahead closed’. My argument is, why haven’t the [county] council let people know the Exeter Road is accessible from here to Park Hotel.

“All the customers agree with me what a shame it is the shop is closing and what a mess it has been. I do not blame the guys who are doing the work on the road. It’s the council not keeping the public informed with what’s going on.”

The work in Exeter Road is being carried out by Wales and West Utilities. A spokesman said: “Before starting this work, we wrote to all homes and businesses in the area, letting them know what to expect while we were working and inviting them to a drop-in session, where our team were on hand to answer any questions they had. As the work has progressed, we have also visited local businesses and acted on their feedback, including increasing the number of signs in the area. We appreciate that, while we work hard to keep disruption to a minimum, our work can impact on local businesses.

“Any local traders who feel their business has been adversely affected by our work can apply for compensation under the Gas (Street Works) Compensation for Small Businesses Regulations 1996.”

Exmouth resident Angela has accused Devon County Council (DCC) of not doing enough to help businesses throughout the duration of the works.

DCC declined to comment. A spokesman said: “We are not going to comment on something that is not our fault.”

CHOC-A-BLOC will close in May.

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