BUSINESS owners in Skegness were ‘shocked’ by the decision to extend roadworks along their ordinarily busy street, hampering trade during the town’s peak season.
Anglian Water’s underground works on Roman Bank have been extended by 10 weeks, prolonging its traffic closure, which shops and restaurants fear could spell the death of their businesses.
Mohammed Raouf opened the Grill House restaurant just weeks before the roadworks began, which he claims have severely diminished his trade after an initially promising start.
He said: “This is shocking news and a very big disappointment - we spent all our money to get Grill House up and running for the start of this season and now I hardly get any customers through the door.
“We started off really well and had a good response but because the road has shut down, people don’t even know we are open.
“This is the busiest time of year, all of the businesses are waiting for these few weeks to help them survive the rest of the year.
“With the bad weather we had earlier this year, it’s already been a struggle, but now this will cause even more problems.
“I think the businesses should be compensated.”
Coun Sue Binch has also raised concerns about the extended road works after hearing the complaints of the street’s business community.
Whilst she can accept the need to carry out roadworks, like Mr Raouf, she feels the decision to have them take place during the summer holidays was ill conceived.
Anglian Water has apologised for the inconvenience caused but explained that postponing the works any further could cause pose a danger to road users and the public.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, the sewer work in Roman Bank, Skegness, is likely to continue for several more weeks.
“This is because the state of the pipe is much worse than previously thought.
“We know this work is likely to cause disruption and inconvenience for people and we are sorry.
“However, this is emergency work and leaving the sewer in its current condition is not an option.
“Allowing it to deteriorate further could pose a risk to road users, the general public and the environment.
“Throughout the remainder of the work our engineers will be working 10 hours a day, seven days a week to try and get the job finished as soon as possible.
“Our contractors, May Gurney, will be in regular contact with local residents and businesses to keep them informed of progress.”