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Facelift for King’s Square means traders see takings fall
Helen Spath, owner of Tullivers, who has seen her takings fall while work on Kings Square has been going;
A BUSINESS owner says she is losing £1,000 a week in trade as a result of knock-on effects of the Kings Square work.
Helen Spath, of Tullivers, said not only is half her shop covered by hoardings, but the remaining half is consistently being concealed by lorries and vans parked up by workers.
Year on year comparisons show the shop is regularly more than £1,000 a week down, with last week’s taking falling £1,300 short of the same week in 2012.
Mrs Spath said: “I appreciate why the work is being done, and realise it’s for a long-term benefit.
“We accept that, and have accepted the hoarding, which almost completely obscures our view from the square.
“However, having all the lorries parked outside our business every day is just too much. It’s the final straw. I have been asking them to move, trying to speak to the right person at the council to get them to move, yet every day they are still parked there.”
Staff at Tullivers are making plans for the health shop’s upcoming 30th anniversary and fear the celebrations will go unnoticed behind the hoardings and parked vans.
Also sharing concerns about the parked lorries is Matt Moore, landlord of the Last Drop Inn. He said: “It’s chaos down here and it’s becoming dangerous chaos as the parked lorries and wagons make it more difficult for traffic to get through the road.
“The area of work has encroached much further into the road than we were led to believe, and the parking of vehicles in the street it making it worse.
“It’s making it very difficult to get deliveries to businesses in the square, and on quite a few occasions delivery drivers have mounted the path to get round.”
However Andy Binner, head of highway infrastructure at City of York Council, said the authority had had a good relationship with businesses in the area, and that they had worked together to postpone the King’s Square work over summer to limit the impact on trade. He said: “Our Reinvigorate York initiative aims to both improve and enhance the quality of our city’s public spaces.
“Key retailers in York backed City of York Council’s decision to postpone the works in May and praised the council for ensuring they were an integral part in any key decisions made, which will ensure retailers gain maximum benefits in the lead-up to Christmas.
“The council has met retailers on a number of occasions throughout the scheme, and were fully briefed that there would be a certain amount of inconvenience during the works.
“However, we are liaising direct with Tullivers health shop and will, where possible and practicable, reduce the frequency of works.”
Scheme to finish in time for fair
COBBLED paving in the square will be removed and replaced over the next few weeks as part of the £490,000 revamp.
The scheme is on schedule to be completed by the last week of November, in time for the annual St Nicholas Fayre.
It includes removing granite tracks and York stone setts in Kings Court, with new granite setts being put in place outside trading hours.
The paving which will be taken up dates from the 1970s, although it led to debate over whether the cobbles were part of York’s character and should be kept.
The repaving of the central part of the square is almost complete, with most of the new drainage for the initial phase of the scheme having been installed along with lighting and electrical work. The council said there are likely to be less hoardings around the square over the next few weeks.
The start of the initial phase of the revamp was originally due to begin earlier, but was postponed to ensure traders were not affected over the summer months.
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