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You don’t need me to tell you that street works can have a considerable damaging impact on many local shops. Often, raod closures and diversions can lead to a significant drop in passing trade for a store, with even the most loyal customers unable to reach the store if they come by car or, in some cases, even by foot, as street works can often divert pedestiral access.
We know of a number of retailers who have been unable to plan effectively for the year ahead when they ahve no reliable timescale for the completion of works being carried out. When the street works finally end, there is an extended period where retailers have to work to re-establish the habit of customers visiting their store.
At a recent meeting of the Local Government Association, we urged councils and utility companies to reduce the time that it takes to complete works and to communicate better with businesses to help them to plan for periods of disruption.
Where there has been a failure to meet these standards, any losses to the businesses should be effectively and fairly compensated. For many current schemes are just too complex for most retailers to access and for those who are successful in gaining compensation, the amount is rarely adequate to properly cover losses to the business.
The good news is that the Local Government Association is working with us in lobbying Government and local councils to change the way in which they deal with the businesses that are effected by street works. We have also been invited to join a working group to make it easier for businesses to claim compensation.
If you are currently experiencing problems with street works outside your store, there is advice and guidance available on the ACS website. Alternatively, you can call the office on 01252 515001
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