Sussex

Arundel traders lose business over Crossbush roadworks

Traders in a West Sussex town are saying that roadworks are having a "huge impact" on their businesses.

Work started last week on the A27 at Crossbush near Arundel to shore up the embankment at the roundabout.

Traders said traffic jams and poor signage meant that people were not coming to the town and businesses were suffering.

Local MP Nick Herbert met Roads Minister Mike Penning, who said they would accelerate the work.

James Stewart, who runs a gallery in the town, said that when the work started it was "chaos" with queuing traffic, poor signage and two-hour road delays.

He said: "People just weren't coming to Arundel.

"We appreciate that the work needed to be done what we didn't appreciate was the lack of consultation, the lack of anyone coming to us to ask our opinions, the fact that the roadworks were going to take place only during the day and that they were going to last for six weeks.

"All of that combined meant that Arundel businesses suffered."

Heather Barry, who runs a coffee bar at Arundel train station, she said: "This is having quite an impact on my business - probably down about 10 to 20% a day, which over six weeks - I'm a small business - that's going to have a huge impact.

"This wasn't in my budget."

Florist Monica Zenikova said: "I'm definitely finding it really difficult trying to deliver my flowers on time and trying to get to my clients. For Mother's Day the takings were nowhere near as good as last year - we were down 40%."

'Accelerating work'

On Tuesday Mr Herbert put the traders' concerns to both Mr Penning, and senior officials from the Highways Agency. He said he was told the work rebuilding the embankment could not be carried out at night for safety reasons.

He said: "What they did say was they will be working later in the evenings and they were accelerating the work."

In a statement, Mr Penning said: "I fully understand the frustration local people feel at the delays on the A27 at Crossbush and the concerns of local businesses about their knock-on effect on trade.

"I have asked the Highways Agency to redouble their efforts to take every possible opportunity to keep disruption to an absolute minimum, and I am pleased to report that all restrictions should be off the A27 in time for the Easter weekend Bank Holiday."