Roadworks nightmare 'hitting Harrogate businesses'

An alarmed Harrogate shopkeeper has said the town's current roadworks nightmare has been hitting trade badly.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 12:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 12:39 pm
"We're not the only ones affected" - Michaela Stothard of Posh Paws of Leeds Road, Harrogate.(1801231AM2)

The new complaint highlights once again the human cost of Harrogate's roadworks as it is being felt by shop keepers and small traders, charities and businesses, as well as drivers and residents.

Locations across Harrogate are suffering temporarily for a range of reasons from new housing developments to road surface improvements for international cycling events.One particularly bad point is at the Princes of Wales roundabout where Yorkshire Water has been carrying out £3 million worth of essential pipe and water supply improvements since January.

Despite the best efforts of the utility company to minimise disruption, motorists are finding the 15-minute queues on Leeds Road and York Place and Otley Road thanks to lane closures, road closures and temporary lights hugely frustrating to the point where Harrogate Borough Council offered to help Tower Street parking permit holders who wished to stay away from the area by car.Now the knock-on effects are even being felt by businesses based at St George's Road roundabout further along Leeds Road.

The co-owner of pet store Posh Paws, which first opened at 34 Leeds Road in 2012, said sales had declined as a direct result of the roadworks.Michaela Stothard said: "The road works has affected us in several ways including a decline in sales as customers avoid Leeds Road, thus avoiding Posh Paws, too."There has been a decline in new customers and a decline in footfall."People are actively saying to us they are avoiding the area or have rung to day they have had to turn around."There have also been problems with deliveries getting to us on time and being able to get near the store."We also experience trouble getting out to do customer deliveries."

Michaela Stothard and her brother Ben have grown up in the pet trade. Last year saw the Stothards celebrate their 50th year in business in Harrogate.Michaela’s grandparents, Peter and Kath Stothard, launched a small corner shop in 1968 selling tropical fish.

Michaela said Posh Paws was not the only shops suffering because of roadworks.She said: "The problems are across the board with stores around me on Leeds Road and even the West Park area."