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Traders hit back over A64 Brambling Fields roadwork disruption
TRADERS are fighting back after months of disruption due to roadworks.
With news that the prolonged rain is threatening to delay work on the A64 Brambling Fields junction, businesses in Norton are working towards the establishment of a Traders’ Forum to support the town’s retailers.
The move follows complaints by business owners that trade is suffering due to the long traffic queues with the diversions in place.
Ray King, Norton councillor and owner of Corks and Cans, said the town was having an ‘horrendous’ time at the moment.
He said: “People are not coming through the town from Rillington and Heslerton and the build up of traffic is just awful. The Brambling Fields work, on the back of the disruption caused by the Commercial Street improvements, has certainly had an effect on the town.”
Mr King said that in a bid to help traders, the town council is working with Ryedale District Council to set up a forum.
“Letters have been sent out to all businesses from the railway crossing to the end of Scarborough Road and those in Beverley Road and Howe Road. This is about the whole of Norton, not just Commercial Street,” he said.
“The hope is that we can do things in force rather than individually and attract people to shop in Norton.”
The Brambling Fields junction was scheduled for completion by the end of June, but April’s heavy rain has made parts of the site inaccessible. As a result, North Yorkshire County Council and the Highways Agency have warned that the completion date is likely to delayed.
However, the contractors working on the new junction are confident that the scheme will be completed well in time for the start of the school summer holidays, when traffic flows on the A64 – a main route to the Yorkshire coast – traditionally see a marked increase.
They are now looking to work a number of weekends in order to make up for lost time.
But Mike Williams, who runs Castle News in Castlegate, Malton, said he could not see the junction being open by then.
He said: “These roadworks are really affecting my business – takings during the day have nose-dived because people are not stopping anymore or using another route. To hear that the work is going to take longer is really, really bad news. It must be affecting other businesses in the town because people are avoiding the place because of all the queues.”
A spokesman for Morrisons supermarket, also in Castlegate, said they had also seen a reduced number of visitors for the time of year.
“This could be down to the weather but we are also getting a lot of comments from our regular customers who are frustrated by the congestion and trying to avoid the area,” he said.