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Shopowners' cash call to plug trade gap caused by roadworks
OWNERS of a village shop near Worcester are pleading for compensation because of roadworks they say are damaging takings.
On July 23, five weeks of flooding alleviation work kicked off in Pershore Road, Upton Snodsbury.
Geoff and Celia Young, who run Upton Snodsbury Post Office and Stores, say it has had a big effect on trade.
After hearing the couple’s plight Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff has decided to relaunch his campaign to get better compensation for small businesses which lose out during roadworks.
Mrs Young said: “We could do with some of this compensation now – we rely on passing trade.”
Mr Young, who has run the post office with his wife for 15 years, said: “It is so quiet. We have been putting signs up to let people know we are open but there is little else we can do.”
Businesses can claim compensation if their trade suffers while utility works are carried out, but Mr Luff says the current system does not work very well for small traders.
Under legislation, small companies can ask for some money, but only if their loss exceeds 2.5 per cent of the annual turnover and is more than £500.
He said: “A proper and reasonably generous system of compensation for small businesses, who suffer dreadfully during such works, especially if they overrun an agreed period, would ensure they were done speedily.
“The longer they take the more the organisation responsible should have to pay.”
Worcestershire County Council said it does not offer any compensation, but is doing what it can to help the situation.
Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The road needs to be closed and this has been scheduled in the school holidays. We have also erected ‘businesses open as usual’ signs.”