Traders feel ‘forgotten’

Family owned businesses on Westgate End fear they could go out of business unless more support is provided to them. Since the flood defence work started they have lost a number of car parking spaces resulting in a fall in customers. They also struggle with deliveries because parking restriction signs have not been replaced. Some fear they may not make it to February when the work is set to be finished. They want to council to help. L-R John Haynes (Wakefield Floorcare),Steve Simmons(Bean for Coffee),Segundo Vazquel (Segundos)Joanne Simmons (Coffee for Bean) and Mark Burgess (Wakefield Cycles).

Family owned businesses on Westgate End fear they could go out of business unless more support is provided to them. Since the flood defence work started they have lost a number of car parking spaces resulting in a fall in customers. They also struggle with deliveries because parking restriction signs have not been replaced. Some fear they may not make it to February when the work is set to be finished. They want to council to help. L-R John Haynes (Wakefield Floorcare),Steve Simmons(Bean for Coffee),Segundo Vazquel (Segundos)Joanne Simmons (Coffee for Bean) and Mark Burgess (Wakefield Cycles).

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FAMILY businesses based on Westgate End say roadworks have driven customers away.

Shops on Westgate End have lost vital car parking spaces because of lane diversions put up while improvements are carried out to nearby flood defences.

Some shops fear they will not survive until the February when the work is due to be completed.

Mark Burgess, owner of the city’s only independent bike shop GTP Cycles, said: “It’s very difficult at the moment. Last month business was down 50 per cent on the same month last year.

“When they demolished houses for the flood defence work people thought we were getting knocked down too and now there’s no parking they think we’re closed.”

John Haynes, owner of Wakefield Floorcare, said the few remaining car parking spaces left were often used by people parking up for the day to go to work or to the train station.

And some fear the situation could worsen if the council goes ahead with plans to make Lawefield Lane one-way and build a central reservation along Westgate.

Bev Hanson-Shaw, owner of Amazing Brides and Hanson Menswear, has started a petition.

She said: “This is the forgotten part of Wakefield.

“If the council does go ahead with the changes it will block us off completely.”

A spokeswoman for Wakefield Council said the proposals were subject to consultation and traders’ views would be taken into account.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said some businesses which had been affected by the loss of parking may be eligible for compensation.