Traders enraged by council’s roadworks double-whammy

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A COUNTY councillor plans to chain himself to the gates of a Grantham supermarket to prevent a double-whammy of roadworks from hitting Grantham traders.

Coun Richard Davies says he will stage the protest if plans go ahead to start roadworks in Wharf Road - at the same time as works in nearby Westgate.

Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department has given Morrisons permission to remodel the entrance to its car park, allowing right-turn access for the first time.

The council says the work being planned by Morrisons will be carried out without the need for traffic restrictions during the day. Any work that does require restrictions will be carried out at night.

But Coun Davies says the work could not come at a worse time for traders.

He said: “It’s absolutely unacceptable. I’ve got zero faith at all that this will go on without a hitch.

“Are we seriously telling the people of Grantham that at 6am, wherever they’ve got to, they’ll be in a position to open the road again? They must think we were born yesterday.

“I’m not going to go down without a fight - they’re going to have to bolt-cutter me off the bulldozer.”

Members of Grantham Business Club have also tried in vain to have the work postponed.

Grantham Business Club chairman Bijal Ladva said: “This delay needs to happen for two reasons - firstly because it’s common sense not to block two routes to Market Place and Westgate, and secondly I believe that if the county council does not listen to its customers it will damage its image further.

“There is already unrest amongst the members of Grantham Business Club regarding the Market Place works - let’s not have these works on Wharf Road cause more businesses to lose customers and cause permanent damage.”

Firm dates have not yet been set for the work, but it is likely to begin in mid-August.

Lincolnshire County Council area highways manager Mark Heaton said: “We’re currently working with Morrisons and the other parties involved to ensure their works can take place with the minimum possible disruption to motorists.

“These improvements are being programmed so they do not clash with the main Market Place works.

“It is only after we’ve completed the improvements in the Market Place, re-opened that road and moved on to narrow Westgate that Morrisons will begin.

“Thankfully, most of the works on Wharf Road will take place at the edges of the highway, meaning traffic flow should not be overly affected. We’ll be releasing full details once the arrangements have been finalised.”

Morrisons had not responded to the Journal’s request for a comment at the time of going to press.

l Should the work be allowed to go ahead? Do you agree with traders’ concerns? Tell us what you think: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk

l Shop closures, flourishing businesses . . . and more roadworks - pages 4 & 5.