Wall sparks flood of complaints

General view of Nene Quey roadworks
General view of Nene Quey roadworks

FED-up business owners claim work to the Wisbech flood wall have already caused havoc and the recent delay has added to the problems.

All businesses along Nene Quay say they have noticed a drop in trade since the road was closed at the end of January while the multi-million pound project was completed.

General view of Nene Quey roadworks

General view of Nene Quey roadworks

The initial closure was scheduled to last 20 months, which meant the road should have reopened in the middle of June. It is now set to reopen at the end of this month.

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Lyn Humphreys at Bridge Insurance said: “It is hard to say just how many potential clients we have lost because of the road closure, but we have noticed a drop in the number of people we usually get calling in because they can simply pull-up outside.”

She said the work has cause massive disturbance particularly when the pile driver was in action.

“It was so loud and sent vibrations right through the building, thankfully we seem to have good foundations,” added Lyn.

At neighbouring Chinese take-away Tasty China manager Kevin Fung said they had really felt the pinch since the work began.

He said customers like the convenience of pulling up outside the shop to pick-up their meals, and the road closure has made that impossible.

“It has definitely affected the business and the delay is not helping,” said Mr Fung, who is also worried about changes in the road’s camber.

Mr Fung said the new road surface has made the camber steeper, which has caused water to collect in a large puddle in front of the businesses which gets splashed up over the shop premises by passing traffic.

It was a similar story for Leach Printers. Owner Martin Nicholls said the work had caused major inconvenience and had also hit business.

He said deliveries had become a nightmare because lorries have to park away from the premises and then cart heavy paper orders on trolleys.

Mr Nicholls has also had to change the way he delivers items out to clients.

“I have to do them all in one day now, if I can. I get here early around 7.30am so that I can park up and load up. It really is a pain,” said Mr Nicholls, who believed part of the delay was due to contractors only having two bricklayers on site to build the wall.

“There have only been two bricklayers the whole time. They are really hard workers, but there is only so many bricks two people can lay in a day. If they had more people on the job it would have taken much less time,” he said.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council, which is behind the work, apologised for the inconvenience and blamed the delay on problems arising during the work. He said the number of workers on site was down to the contractors.