Gas works hit Kingsbridge shopkeepers' trade

Shopkeepers in a south Devon town say trade has fallen by up to a third since work on a gas mains started in January.

Wales and West Utilities have been laying plastic pipes in Fore Street, Kingsbridge, since 3 January.

The firm said the work was expected to take 10 weeks.

The chamber of commerce has been trying to encourage customers into the town with a weekly draw, but shopkeepers said trade was still down.

'Suffering quite badly'

Butcher Andy Symons said: "Trade is definitely affected in Fore Street because of the obstructions and inconvenience.

"Some of the traders are suffering quite badly.

"It hasn't done us any favours, but perhaps it's the best time of year to do it, rather than the summer."

Another shopkeeper said trade was down by a third since the work started, but he did not want to be named because he feared customers would think the shop was closing.

Kingsbridge Chamber of Commerce is trying to tempt people into the town with a weekly draw for customers who show proof of purchasing goods in the town worth more than £10.

The chamber said more than 1,000 customers had entered the draw this week and the response had "exceeded expectations".

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