Traders express concern over gasworks uproar
PUBLISHED: 13:26 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 25 August 2010
TRADERS are fuming at the loss of trade caused by gas replacement works outside their shop which they claim has left a normally thriving area like a ghost town.
TRADERS are fuming at the loss of trade caused by gas replacement works outside their shop which they claim has left a normally thriving area like a "ghost town."
The work, which will replace existing gas mains with plastic pipes, began last Monday on Station Road, Old Farm Avenue, Halfway Street and Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup.
Kerry Warman, 45, of Hurst Road, Sidcup, opened her heating and plumbing shop Leaks the day the work was due to commence.
She said: "It's like a ghost town here. I feel like I'm going under before I've even started."
The shop, located on the corner of Station Road and Old Farm Road was opened due to its prime location in attracting passing trade.
However, mounds of rubble and metal barriers have been left outside and obscure the view of the shop.
She said: "We started up because there are people from the station who see us.
"Now we're not even getting the people coming in after work on their way home.
"I'm not going to have any plumbers coming here. They can't even park. It's really bad for me.
"It's just not fair. Everyone's panicking like mad."
Ms Warman is not entitled to receive compensation due to the fact that she is unable to provide three years worth of accounts to prove loss of earnings as it is a brand new business.
Joy Gilder, owner of Joy Gilder Floral Designs, Station Road, said: "People in their cars aren't stopping, they can't see us.
"I was supposed to have a bride coming in and she didn't turn up. I don't think she could find it."
Sidcup Cycle Centre owner Nigel Hill, 47, from Tonbridge, is concerned about the length of time anticipated to carry out the work.
He said: "We believe that 22 weeks could be substantially shortened. The workers work very short days. We want to see that avoided. I don't think the council are doing enough to support local businesses."
A spokesman for Southern gas network said: "We are investing more than £600k to upgrade the gas main. The project is essential to preserve the safety and security of gas supplies in the area, as safely and efficiently as possible.
"Staff are on site from 8am-5pm on weekdays, and where possible also work on weekends. Our compensation policy is in line with Ofgem guidelines and if anyone has any questions or enquiries about compensation, we would ask them to contact us.
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