The roadworks that have caused major disruption on Stamford New Road since May are set to continue for a further three months longer than planned – at least.
Trafford Council today informed businesses in the area that “due to a number of external factors”, the public realm improvements programme on one of the town’s main arteries would now be continuing until the end of March.
That’s five months longer than businesses were originally told back in May – although that completion date had since been rescheduled to December – and the disruption in the new year is set to be even worse, with both sides of the road closed to traffic.
It’s a further kick in the teeth for businesses that have seen a significant drop-off in trade since the disruption began.
The work – which is part of the £6m public realm works that are covering much of the town centre – will see the implementation of a new street layout, to include the widening of footpaths, decluttering of existing furniture and planting of new tress.
But while claiming that “75%” of the work is now complete, the council said that contractor J Cooney Ltd had encountered “unforeseen” issues and that the number of intended trees would also need to be scaled back.
It said: “Due to the fact we have encountered significant utilities and services in the western footway, it has not been possible to introduce as many street trees as planned. We planned for 11 trees, however it is likely we will achieve a total of 7 new trees planted in this phase.
“The footpath works were due to be completed before Christmas, however due to a number of external factors including unforeseen services, underground structures and supply of materials this will not be achieved. We are working with the Contractor and the Supplier to substantially complete the footpath works up to Grafton St by the Christmas period. Works will continue in the new year between Grafton St and Regent Rd.”
The works between January and March will require a two-way road closure while the resurfacing of the road is carried out.
The council has invited affected businesses to a meeting to be held at Planit-IE’s office on Wednesday 5th October at 4.30pm.
And one of those businesses, Sugar Junction, said the news was “extremely disappointing” and called for much more support from Trafford.
Owner Alex Watts, whose tearoom opened in June just before the works kicked in fully, said he would not have opened had he known the level of disruption that was to follow.
“We would have waited until it was over or we would have gone somewhere else,” he said.
“We’re down on our weekly turnover as a result of the work and we’ve had no consultation and no real support from Trafford. What’s worse, there doesn’t actually seem to be much going on.
“There needs to be much more awareness about what is going on and better signage. I’ve spoken to a number of other businesses along here and they say the same.”
We’ve approached Trafford for more information about how they plan to support the affected businesses given the extra delay to the works.