Trader voices concerns for business

Roadworks at Kessington shops.
Roadworks at Kessington shops.

There have been claims this week that the roadworks on Kessington Road, in Bearsden, are causing massive disruption for locals and businesses.

One trader said it may even threaten the future of her business.

However, East Dunbartonshire Council claims the work is necessary to create parking with a two-hour maximum waiting time, to make it safer for people to transfer between bus, bicycle and car, and to give priority to pedestrians.

But locals have questioned whether the work is necessary and say the council failed to consult with people about the plans.

Heather McNarey (25), who runs Marinis’ takeaway, said: “It looks like our shop is shut because it’s fenced in.

“Our takings have dropped dramatically, we currently employ four staff but we may be forced to cut some jobs now.

“This has been a nightmare as we had only just re-opened the shop last November after a fire.”

Hair salon owner Jennifer Jayne said: “We were promised ‘business as usual signs’ but we don’t have them yet.”

Bearsden resident Peter Ogg said: “The car park has been blocked off and cabins, machinery and spare fencing on MacFarlane Road opposite take up most of the parking there too. There are often tailbacks on Milngavie Road now.”

Thomas Glen, the council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “Extensive consultation has taken place in November 2013, and May and November 2014, and we have spoken to traders on a number of occasions over the last six months.

“Feedback has helped to shape plans and has been largely very positive. For example, the location of the pedestrian crossing addresses issues raised by the public. The works were also rescheduled from December to January to minimise impact on local businesses.

“Disruption is being kept to a minimum - particularly the car park. Pedestrian access is being maintained to local businesses. There have also been regular updates via the council’s website and social media, and local and national publications.

“Significant external funding is being invested in the creation of the transport hub to make a more attractive area, encourage greater active travel movement and economic opportunities in Bearsden.

“Signs are in place emphasising that all businesses are open throughout the works and we are working closely with the contractor to ensure the works will be completed within the 10 weeks on-site.”