The roadworks which Derby shop owners say are costing them business

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

Over-running work to upgrade the parking area outside a parade of shops in a Derby street is starting to threaten the future of the businesses, according to their owners.

Construction of new parking bays outside the shops in Elton Road, Derby, began in April and the store owners say it was due to be completed last month - but now appears to be more than two weeks over its finish time.

Additionally, about a 200-metre stretch of the road is currently closed during the day to facilitate work.

The £500,000 project is part of Access Osmaston – a set of proposed works within the Infinity Park D2N2 programme intended to create “stronger physical and economic linkages between Osmaston, Infinity Park and Pride Park”.

Karwan Mohammed, left, and Redin Ali, are very worried about the business Style Cut

Karwan Mohammed, left, and Redin Ali, are very worried about the business Style Cut

The Elton Road shopping parade project is the first of three phases of work but the business owners are not convinced the trade they have lost is worth the hassle to have new parking areas created.

Karwan Mohammed is looking after Style Cut while the owner is away. He said: “This has been going on since April and trade has fallen away by about 50% in that time.

“People have never been able to park on the main road because of double yellow lines and so there has always been a parking area in front of the shops and no-one was complaining about it.

“But when people from local businesses such as Rolls-Royce couldn’t park this year, they went elsewhere and so all the businesses here have lost trade. It was supposed to be finished in August but it is still going on and now the road outside has been closed as well for the past few days.”

Redin Ali, who works in the hair salon, said his wages were down as a result of the fall-off in business. He said: “Everyone is suffering because of this and, although the finished area might be an improvement, it could be a high price to pay if the businesses can’t survive in the meantime.”

Business as usual notices in Elton Road

Business as usual notices in Elton Road

The parade of shops also consists of a fish and chip shop and store, which includes a post office. The other shop is Elton Road Convenience Store, where owner Kandasamy Suganthan, took over earlier this year.

He said: “I have also lost business because people have not been able to stop and come in for weeks now. It has been very inconvenient for everyone and, the longer it goes on, the worse it will get.”

A diversion has been set up along Hawthorn Street and back round to the rest of Elton Road, which is not closed.

Pete Danson, 49, of Elton Road, said: “I can understand why everyone is upset about this because it has been going on all summer. I have not been directly affected but it must be a nuisance for residents living opposite.”

This is how the area outside the shops looked in 2016 before work started to improve parking

This is how the area outside the shops looked in 2016 before work started to improve parking

Sahid Ali, of Cotton Lane, said that the roadworks were “noisy” and added: “It will be good when it is finished and life gets back to normal.”

Mum-of-three Di Brown, of Walnut Street, said that she thought the closure of the road had led to more traffic on narrow side roads.

She said: “It seems to have been busier around my street recently so perhaps that is why.”

There is some hope that Elton Road will soon re-open after Derby City Council issued a statement about the closure.

Elton Road is closed looking from the Osmaston Road direction

Elton Road is closed looking from the Osmaston Road direction

A council spokesman said: “As part of the district centre improvement scheme, we are carrying out improvements to the stretch of carriageway in front of the shops.

"These surfacing works and other civil works like ironwork, lining, ducting and drainage works are being carried out under a road closure which commenced Wednesday, September 6 and will be finished Friday, September 15 (nine working days total including some Saturday working).

"This is well within the realms of normal programming for this nature of works.”

But there was no further clarification of when the parade of shops project will be completed.