Cardiff shops seek compensation for roadworks
Shop owners in Cardiff's traditional arcades want compensation from the council for disruption due to roadworks near their businesses.
They say the pedestrianisation work on High Street and St Mary Street has cost them thousands of pounds in trade.
The council has given them a £300 discount on business rates each but has refused compensation because they say the work is short term.
But the businesses say they each want up to £10,000 in compensation.
All 53 shops in the Castle, High Street and Duke arcades, in the traditional heart of the city centre, have formed an association to put their case to the council.
Anna Constantinou, who owns a hairdressing salon in the Castle Arcade, said the council was refusing to accept how disruptive the work had been.
"They are now digging up the road on High Street for a second time. Together with the disruption caused by the St David's 2 shopping centre development, these problems go back five years.
"That cannot be described as short term."
She said High Street, one of Cardiff's main shopping streets, was now "a building site".
She said: "We've been told the work will stop on 14 November and then continue in January. But we think they should be working around the clock to get the work finished as soon as possible."
The association has complained that separate roadworks in front of the castle in the city has compounded the problem, and was started without any notice to shop owners.
In a statement, Cardiff Council said: "The work to create a Castle Quarter and a pedestrian friendly environment for High Street and St Mary Street is designed to enhance the city centre.
"There has been some inevitable inconvenience to traders as a result of this work but Cardiff Council has done its best to consult closely with businesses throughout and minimise disruption as much as possible."
The council added: "It has to be remembered that the outcome of this work is designed to benefit businesses in High Street, St Mary Street and the surrounding arcades."
But Ms Constantinou said it was not definite that the work would ultimately help their businesses.
"We hope it will help but our trade has suffered badly since the work started and people are now staying away."