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A61 Businesses Concerned About Dwindling Trade

Monday September 30 2013


Cllr Roy Miller Cllr Roy Miller


WITH the long-running works on the A61 set to continue until November, We Are Barnsley has been in touch with the council regarding compensation for businesses affected by the works.

Earlier this year Barnsley Council said the scheme would be finished in June, before unforeseen issues caused further delays, with August and then September being earmarked for its completion.

However, the council took the opportunity to bring forward resurfacing work on the troublesome road to follow on directly after the completion of the bus corridor scheme.

While the works have been a huge talking point with disgruntled road users on We Are Barnsley, business owners on the road have had a rough time as the works have affected their takings.

Iain Hulme, who runs TCS Continental Spares garage, says his business will struggle to see it to the end of the works.

He said closing one side of the road so it can be resurfaced is putting his and other businesses in jeopardy as it has resulted in a dip in passing trade.

Iain added: "We've just had our usual quiet period of six weeks because of the school holidays and I dare say the business will not last the ten weeks these roadworks will take.

"I had a customer who got to the top of Old Mill Lane to try and get to my garage and it took an hour. In my eyes, that's not on."

Iain's isn't the only business suffering. Clive Harris, 59, owns Barnsley Van Hire and said all the traders on Wakefield Road are angry about the roadworks and the few days' notice they were given.

"Only half the road is working," he said. "The concern is trade is going to suffer. We've already endured two years of roadworks and disruption.

"People are ringing up asking how to get here and I'm having to try and direct them and some are cancelling their bookings."

A KFC employee said it has seen a dip as a lot of its custom is from traffic going towards the town centre.

Motorcycle shop owner Shane Parkin said traffic had been 'carnage' since the council closed one side of the road.

He said: "There are cars turning around in the middle of the road and with the way things are, nobody is going to want to go into town. It's mayhem."

Mark Crawshaw, a landlord on the road, said his clients are struggling and the works have 'crippled' their trade.

Tony Buckley, owner of First Call Building and Garden Supplies on Peel Place, off Old Mill Lane, said traffic chaos created by the bus corridor near Wickes was dangerous and could lead to an accident.

"I think all the businesses down here should be offered compensation," he said. "No one has been out to see how it's affecting us. We all got leaflets about two weeks ago but no one said how bad it was going to be."

Cllr Roy Miller said businesses will be able to seek compensation - if they can prove their firm has lost trade because on the ongoing A61 roadworks.

He said: "There is a policy in place where if they believe they have lost trade and can show their figures for the last three years, they can apply to the highways department for compensation."

A council spokesman confirmed: "In the past, our Highways department has done its utmost to try to accommodate the concerns of individual businesses to try and compensate for the effect of road works on their businesses, for example by providing additional signs.

"If any businesses feel they are being unduly affected by the current maintenance works on the A61, they should contact Highways on 01226 773555 or by email at highways@barnsley.gov.uk where our officers will be able to better understand the issues and provide further information and advice."

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Reply Posted by Mike Lee on Monday September 30 2013 at 12:14
Why can't WAB under the Freedom of Information find out exactly what it cost we ratepayers for the "extra" land to be purchased which Coun Miller "forgot" to get plkanning permission for?? Compensation should be paid to the suffering businesses - I'm sure the council can afford it out of the "subsidies" from Stagecoach for the improved "Bus Corridor". What about some compensation to all the drivers who are being inconvenienced - For What???

Reply Posted by criseldon on Monday September 30 2013 at 13:33
Mr miller is a joke... hes been no were near wakefield road... and the way he state IF there buisness has been affected... how can they not be... cut out the red tape and do the decent thing and just offer compo rather than all the form.filling.
mr miller doesnt state that in 28 years of one of the workers working down there they have never known a successful claim.... oh and how the forms clearly state on heading if the work is required nessessery no claim will be successful..
its all just pathetic... add insult to injury we havent even been down on this road 3 years so what do we do... we have proof our trade is a third of last year but as we havent 3 years we are a instant failure.... absoulute joke.. he doesnt care one bit

Reply Posted by criseldon on Monday September 30 2013 at 13:44
Oh and the highways helping??? We had to buy our own signs for either end.... add to that the other night when they forgot to sign the road up properly and people were going wrong side etc and someone actually slid into our yard taking out our aboard... and we carnt even claim for that.. nobody wanted to know so what hope have you got with compo on takings

Reply Posted by LV on Monday September 30 2013 at 13:59
I'm sure the business owners would be complaining even more had the highways dept waited until works on the bus corridor had been completed before starting the resurfacing of Wakefield Road! That would have lengthened the time that traffic is affected thus further prolonging the agony of poor trade!

BMBC has used a bit of initiative in trying to get as much done as soon as possible but it's never good enough is it?!

People complain about the state of the road with potholes, etc - when the roads get resurfaced people then complain that the roads are closed and how it is having such an inconvenience on their lives and travel times. No one ever sees that the council is actually doing something that is needed, instead they are quite happy to piss and moan about everything they ever do!

Try going a month without the council... see how many rats you have from the bins not been emptied, see how many streetlights are out because no one is there to change them, the schools would be closed, there would be no benefits paid, no council housing - look at the bigger picture, the council does a bloody lot, but all people are interested in is how a few unfortunate timings effect them!!

Just remember if you phone a council office worker that it's not their fault - they aren't the ones making decisions - you want to be heard? Make a complaint.

Reply Posted by anom on Monday September 30 2013 at 21:09
do you live in the area? see comment I have posted below. I have 25 emails and 10 phone calls made to the council. I have made complaints on behalf of residents and as I say below Miller and Jarvis have not had the respect to acknowledge any emails or phone call. so please don't judge everybody. if you don't live in the area then come and try to go to work and shopping when you are in a wheelchair. some residents have no access to a car and therefore have not been out unless a relative as come and taken them.

were is the council support for them?


Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday October 2 2013 at 15:56
LV - I challenge you to make a complaint using the councils own form on their website - it doesn't work as they hold onto it and then tell you that it's not a complaint unless you speak directly to someone else. No-One at the council takes ownership for anything anymore. None of us are directly blaming the staff as they have probably suffered more than most with the threat of redundancy, staff shortages and miscommunication internally.
Most people have a gripe with Councillor Miller who is acting like a fat cat, will not stand up and admit his own shortcomings and as Councillor directly in charge of the highways is directly responsible for the complete and utter shambles called the A61.
If anyone has driven down the A61 today, they will notice that the main roadworks originally started over 2 years ago, i say again, over 2 years ago for less than 1/2 mile, they will notice that there are now markings all over the road on the Asda side of the roadworks too.
This is where further repairs will be carried out and more roadworks will take place to fix potholes, subsidence etc less than 10 yards from the new surface that has just been laid.
Surely Councillor Miller in all his wisdom would not have allowed them to start the roadworks 10 yards away without incorporating these problems into the major works he has just mismanaged.... I guess he could.
Watch this space and this patch of road??!!!

Reply Posted by dwayne on Monday September 30 2013 at 14:28
Im afraid to get a true reflection of the agroe that this has caused you have to be down on wakefield road day in day out.. the work is slow and unorganised... and complaints have been made even dan jarvis has been involved but even his office has got no were with the council.... anybody think these buisnesses are just moaning try been one of the few staff put on part time hours or one of the buinesses that havent earned or even worse lost money... constantly asking for answers but getting none...
work has to be done we all know that but very rarley has such work caused so many problems

Reply Posted by g on Monday September 30 2013 at 18:02
as lv tried ringing officers if so he must be ringing different 1 ns to me because when i ring i get hes not in today hes not at his desk he ll ring yer back sounds to me like lv could work for coucil and as for roy miller hes lost plot and is probaly 1 of those thats not in

Reply Posted by Monty Williams on Monday September 30 2013 at 19:36
You have no idea about how deep the incompetence goes in the highways department and Roy Miller should resign he's nothing but a ill informed bigot who has no interest in anyone but himself. If he had he would know that he is been fed rubbish by the council and he believes it. As for Dan Jarvis don't even waste your time he's as useless as a chocolate fire guard. What do we pay these people for. It's certainly not to help us. .

Reply Posted by B Winter on Monday September 30 2013 at 19:58
OMG re monty williams comment. Your absolutely spot on both them people need to go the only thing dan is intrested in is fund raising as for Miller what the hell does this man do apart from give out rubbish information and incorrect most of the time. Come on boys give us a comment. As for highways I have no idea who is in charge but he or she needs to go.

Reply Posted by anom on Monday September 30 2013 at 21:01
i have been emailing certain councillors about the concerns the resident have. some of us don't have cars and have to rely on public transport. i have also sent emails to both Miller and Jarvis weeks ago and they have not even had the respect to get in-touch. i agree that compensation should be available, but what about the residents? we have to put up with the noise, pollution (which Miller said this would not happen) disruption and as i am writing this they are laying tarmac outside which should have been completed this morning (not 9am at night).

resident have had to park their cars elsewhere as there is no access to the properties. informed by some of the work men (who i don't blame) that they feel it is a joke what is happening and they have never worked with such a dis-organised council.
isn't time this council got out they have upset so many people and will not face up to their mistakes. then we read about the expenses they are claiming. instead of taking this money from HONEST people give it to the residents and businesses who are affected.

Reply Posted by Dan on Tuesday October 1 2013 at 16:57
Just how many workers ARE there on this small plot have only seen about three at any one time hope they don't have to do any major work anywhere

Reply Posted by Graham on Tuesday October 1 2013 at 17:19
I do not live or work on Wakefield Road/Old Mill Lane, but I would say that there must be a couple of hundred people directly affected in the various businesses which operate from this area. I have sympathy with everyone affected by these works which have gone on for far, far too long.

Another example of gross inefficiency by Barnsley Council.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday October 2 2013 at 15:47
Councillor Miller - This is a direct message for you.

'RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN RESIGN'

The roadworks on Wakefield have been a complete and utter shambolic disaster and I'm afraid that as the Councillor in charge of these works, the buck stops firmly at your door.
Time and again you have tried to justify your way out of a corner explaining how nothing has ever been your fault, its always been like that and you expect us all to believe that a butterfly fart adds another 3 weeks onto the completion date - at least that's what most of your excuses sound like.
You have tried to justify these delays by saying that they haven't cost the council a penny and that this has all come from central funding.... I don't believe you as this must surely be incorrect.
If you are saying that it hasn't cost the council a penny, then no one from the council - especially yourself - will have claimed any expenses in connection with these roadworks; they will never have been discussed in any of the councils meetings; the compensations for the businesses will also be funded centrally and not by the council; no one from the council has ever been delayed in any of the roadworks or followed your detour which adds extra miles onto the vehicles costing the council petrol/diesel bills, lost work hours, wear and tear on the vehicles.
To paraphrase your own words from the article above Councillor Miller, ' If you can prove that no council funds have been spent on these roadworks by providing written evidence covering the last 3 years including all expenses forms and mileage details', then I will believe you but not until.
As a Councillor you are here to represent the residents of Barnsley in their wishes - read every single comment written about you by the public of Barnsley and do what the public wants and stand down with dignity. You have served Barnsley Council for many years, but now is the time to give some younger fresher blood a chance to represent the majority for the Darton/Mapplewell Ward.

Reply Posted by wendy on Wednesday October 2 2013 at 18:22
We ALL know the work has to be done but am afraid its the lack of communication and what seems like selective ignorance as to how its affecting the businesses down here (cant speak as a resident am afraid) You have large businesses like Topps Tiles and Kentucky putting their staff on limited hours , some businesses who have sold nothing in last 2 or 3 weeks, others running at a loss etc etc yet we still have our rents to pay and if anyone thinks we are making a fuss then imagine being in our situation and I HAVE had a response from the council in charge, they just make 'excuses' or blame another dept and I am in touch with Dan Jarvis who has already approached the council after speaking to me but to no avail, so reckon I know as much as anyone down here but makes no difference neither does airing your views on here TBH,
No one stands a cat in hells chance of compo am afraid no one needs to show 3 yrs books to show the loss of trade .............

Reply Posted by Sheep Hog on Wednesday October 23 2013 at 20:35
I personally think the Council have done a great job along Wakey Road. Where else can you get your wheels washed for free, ride up and down on the free rollercoaster, stand on the higher bit of surfacing at Polar Ford and admire the view, play dodgem with oncoming traffic cuz no white lines and try to skittle pedestrians as they cross the road cuz of no stop lines. Best of all - been outside our house every Sunday and done bugger all. Glad to see me Council tax is being put to good use.