Businesses struggling due to Northern Gas Network’s work

31/7/12  Laura and Andy Binns of Dacre village store who are worried about the loss of business   when the  main street through Dacre Banks  will be cut in half  when roadworks go ahead at the top of the hill.
31/7/12 Laura and Andy Binns of Dacre village store who are worried about the loss of business when the main street through Dacre Banks will be cut in half when roadworks go ahead at the top of the hill.

Businesses in Dacre Banks say they have seen trading fall by around 50 per cent after a 14 mile diversion avoiding gas maintenance work was set up last week.

Northern Gas Network closed the road through the village of Dacre Banks to carry out maintenance work on Monday, October 22 and traders said it has hit them hard.

Steve Cock, landlord of The Royal Oak Inn has reported a year on year fall in trade of 47 per cent.

“It’s the passing trade and trade from walkers we are really missing out on.

“There are road closed signs nearly as far back as Harrogate and it’s just putting people off coming to the village at all.”

Andy Binns, owner of Dacre Village Store paints a similar picture. “We’ve only been open 11 months but have been taking more each month.

“The month before this work began was our best to date. We’re now down around £1,500, which for a small business like ourselves is a great deal of money.”

Northern Gas Networks initially scheduled the maintenance works for August but changed the date after traders complained about it being peak season.

Mr Cock said he felt the work could be completed far more quickly: “The contractors are coming all the way from Teeside. It’s not their fault, but if they were using local contractors then it could be done in a few days.”

The works are due to be completed this Friday. A spokesman from Northern Gas Network said: “We have done everything we can to apease the situation for local traders.

“We rescheduled the works so that they did not coincide with the peak trading time and have put on courtesy buses. We also got the project down to two weeks rather than the three initially planned.”