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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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West Cumbrian traders fear roadworks upheaval

Cockermouth traders fear work to improve Main Street will stop people visiting the town.

Plans to upgrade and repair the central road through the gem town are earmarked for next year, and although funding is not in place, businesspeople are concerned that it would cause too much impact on their livelihoods.

About 40 traders attended a meeting on Monday, organised by the chamber of trade, to discuss with county council officials how disruption could be minimised.

The improvements could include installing information boards and poetry lines in the pavement, as well as repairing the road’s foundations, damaged in the 2009 floods.

Jonty Chippendale, chamber chairman, said: “Parking provision and the marketing of the town while the disruption is taking place were the two main worries that we highlighted.

“The county council needs to ensure that it gives these proper weight in its discussions with those tendering for this project.

“If people think they cannot park their cars, they will stay away. Likewise, if all they read and hear is reports of mess and disruption, they won’t visit Cockermouth.

“We need to tell everyone that visiting Cockermouth is still an enjoyable experience and will be even better once the work is completed.”

Brian Trengove, co-owner of The Spice Club on Main Street, said: “Since 2009 it’s been difficult to get footfall back into the town. Trading in Cockermouth has been extremely tough.

“We have got to find a way of telling people that Cockermouth is open for business.”

He added that he welcomed the work as it was essential but stressed the need for the disruption to last for as short a period of time as possible.

Julie Rickerby, owner of Julie’s Sandwich Place, was concerned about parking and said she hoped traffic wardens would be lenient during the work.

The county council is waiting for a decision about the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund next month and until then a contractor could not be appointed.

It is estimated work would take up to 10 months and would start in May.

The county council officers agreed to write into the contractors’ contract that there would be publicity to say the town was still open and highlight the need for alternative parking provision.

Have your say

@ignor.rant Its got nothing to do with Allerdale Council - its the County Council, that is why they are doing their own work!

I do wonder sometimes if people actually read the articles before commenting

Posted by John on 17 October 2012 at 09:21

Oh yeh ignor.rant, you comment is most sarcastic. I feel greater sarcasm should be given to the points of it having taken 4 years to get anything done assuming it starts in May, that it takes 10 months to do which is just plain pathetic, and that a sham of a council tax rise was spent on a knee jerk reaction flood defense system, when all that is needed is for the river to be dredged like it was meant to have been anyway. Oh, and also that local land owners had previous to the floods offered to make thier land further upstream into flood plains/run off areas that Allerdale would not allow. But lets jump to Allerdales defense, they all know what they are doing and are not at all a bunch of blithering idiots with a few notable exceptions.

Posted by Sprakiki on 16 October 2012 at 19:27

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