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Blackfen business 'let down' as council announces eight weeks of roadworks on its doorstep

PUBLISHED: 14:40 20 June 2017

Harris's fear they could lose their parking facility should the council put a tree up durings works to improve Blackfen

Harris's fear they could lose their parking facility should the council put a tree up durings works to improve Blackfen

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The roadworks are set to begin next week

Where improvement works will take place in Blackfen town centreWhere improvement works will take place in Blackfen town centre

A stalwart of Blackfen’s high street shops has complained it feels “let down” by roadwork plans which will create eight weeks of disruption in the town.

Harris’s shoe shop in Blackfen Road first opened in 1963 serving residents for four generations, but under council plans to create a “town centre feel”, the shop fears it could lose its outdoor customer parking facility.

Preparatory work got underway this week, but works to improve Gloucester Parade, as well as the junction of Blackfen Road and Days Lane are set to disrupt traffic until August with parking on Gloucester Parade closed throughout the works.

“We found out about the roadworks two weeks ago, ” said Harris’s manager Gemma Tektras.

“We’re in dispute with the council over putting a tree up outside our shop front, we’ve been there for more than 50 years and we feel let down..

“The road definitely needs improving with the potholes and the parking situation in Gloucester Parade, but its going to affect business for the next few weeks,

“It’s for the best in the long run, we’ll just have to swallow it really.”

A spokesperson from Bexley council responded: “We have consulted extensively with local businesses and hope we can reach agreement with them on the details of these much-needed improvements.

“We believe that planting a tree on the highway land outside this particular business is an important part of the scheme. It will improve the appearance of the area and benefit residents, businesses and shoppers.

“Our other plans involve new paving, planting, improving accessibility and introducing parking arrangements that will benefit local businesses.”

Jon Ayre, from J. Ayre’s bakery, added most staff at the bakery parked in Days Lane adding: “Gloucester Parade is right opposite us, so these roadworks could have an effect, we will just have to wait and see what happens.”

But Mike Clegg from PSM Plant and Tool Hire Centres, a few doors up from Harris’s said: “To be honest we’ve had stuff like this in the past, we’ve just got to hope that the roadworks do improve the area, and put up with them in the mean time.”

All shops in the area are expected to remain open during the works.

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