Cheltenham traders angry over 'same stretch' roadworks

Small businesses in Cheltenham, who have lost trade during four months of roadworks, have been angered to learn that fresh works are starting.

Wales and West Utilities is digging up the same stretch of Tewkesbury Road where work only finished a fortnight ago.

The company said it had been unable to access a piece of land to complete the gas main improvement scheme until now.

Traders said they would seek compensation for loss of income.

Brian Dawson from Cheltenham Wash and Vac said: "I was 50% down in trade over those four months.

'No alternative'

"The main problem is that if people know the roadworks are there, they don't come into Cheltenham. In terms of passing trade it's very quiet."

Brian Crosby, who owns Westend Framing and Art, said he had also seen a drop in trade of between 20 and 50%.

"I'm pretty angry," he said.

"Wales and West is the only source of compensation. The council is sympathetic, but that doesn't equal pound signs."

The project to install 700m of new plastic gas pipe with a lifespan of more than 80 years, is expected to be completed in early September.

The two outer lanes of the dual carriageway on Tewkesbury Road, between Colletts Drive and Gloucester Road, will be closed, as will one lane of Gloucester Road.

From Monday 9 August, Gloucester Road will be completely closed between Market Street and Tewkesbury Road for about two weeks.

A statement from Wales and West Utilities said: "After completing the initial phases of the scheme, we had hoped that it would not be necessary to return to Tewkesbury Road and Gloucester Road.

"Unfortunately we were prevented from accessing a piece of land that we needed to enter to complete the scheme.

"Therefore it is due to circumstances outside our control that we have no alternative but to go back into these roads to ensure security of supply for Cheltenham."

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