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Taunton trader 'knocked back' by Wessex Water water mains work
THE owner of a family firm in Taunton says their trade has been “knocked back” by water mains work outside their shop.
John Jeanes, of Castle Bridge News in Corporation Street, said their weekly takings one week last month were £1,000 down, and he believes the work, run by Wessex Water contractors, is a major factor in the downward trend.
The three-week long work has now been completed along Park Street, and John, who owns the shop with his wife, Lynda, said: “It’s a culmination of a few things – the works outside the shop and the summer holidays because people have gone away and don’t bother coming in.
“I understand that certain work has to be done, but there’s a cost to it all.
“We’ve lost out on the taxi drivers who used to stop outside and pop in, and it has been stopping a lot of our trade and slowing us down.
“Business was climbing and we were gradually picking up, but this came along and knocked us back.
“All your costs stay the same or increase, but the money coming in through the door has dropped.”
John’s daughter, Shelly Froom, who also works in the newsagents, saidthey rely on passing trade.
She said: “We get a lot of passing trade that has not been able to come in because they couldn’t use the parking area outside.
“It’s frustrating because they seem to dig up a hole and fill it backin again, and as soon as you think they’ve finished it starts back up again.”
The family ran a newsagent further along Corporation Street for 30 years before re-locating to their present site two years ago.
A Wessex Water spokesman said: “We worked closely with the council’s highways team to carefully plan the section of work along Park Street so it didn’t affect traffic flow.
“Using the bus lane meant we were able to allow two-way traffic to continue to flow, reducing inconvenience on motorists and ensuring that passing trade for shopkeepers was not affected.
“Work along Park Street was completed ahead of schedule and all roadworks have now been removed.
“We’d urge any trader who has any issues to contact us so we can see if there’s any support we can provide for them.”
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