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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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No compensation over Cockermouth roadworks

Struggling traders in Cockermouth can still apply for money off their business rates, but have been told that no compensation will be coming their way.

Traders have been contending with months of disruption with Main Street undergoing extensive repairs.

The road was closed in March for a £1.7 million improvement scheme.

Business owners can still apply for business rates relief through the Valuation Office Agency.

But the county council, which has commissioned the repair work, said that traders won’t be compensated for the works.

Len Davies, Allerdale and Cockermouth town councillor, believes that businesses deserve compensation for the disruption and loss of trade.

He said: “These businesses are fighting for their lives. I have heard that Main Street isn’t going to be finished until October – it’s absolute madness.”

Andy Walsh, chairman of Cockermouth and District Chamber of Trade, said that several business owners were looking at how they could get compensation.

He said: “There are quite a number of people looking seriously at what they can do about compensation. I know a lot of people are talking to insurance companies.

“Once people have had a look at every option that is open to them, I think they will be having a look at ways of getting compensation for a large reduction in their sales.”

Mr Walsh also called on the county council to help bring people back into the town once the works were completed.

He said: “The county council really do need to help us out once the roadworks are finished to help market the place and attract people who have stopped coming into town because of the roadworks.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “Private businesses cannot be compensated using taxpayers’ money, so there will be no compensation, but as ever we apologise for any inconvenience caused and are doing all we can to minimise disruption during the works.”

Main Street reopened to one-way traffic last month but work is not due to be completed until early October.

Meanwhile, Alan Smith, Allerdale council leader, said the council will continue to offer free two-hour parking at Wakefield Road, Sullart Street, Riverside and Bitterbeck car parks for the duration of the repair works.

A Taste Cumbria food festival spokeswoman said that the festival on September 27 and 28 will go ahead as normal and in the same locations on Main Street and Market Place.

However, she added that organisers were flexible in changing locations depending on the work, but discussions would take place with the county council closer to the festival.

Meanwhile, major gas repairs in the Lorton Road and Vicarage Lane area started on Monday.

Northern Gas Networks will spend the next six months upgrading gas mains.

The company is doing the work in phases and started repairs on Vicarage Lane on Monday. The lane will be closed for the next month before workers move on to carry out upgrades on Lorton Road, then Victoria Road and finally Skinner Street.

Have your say

no where else gets compensation so live with it

Posted by Dave on 26 August 2014 at 08:01

I tend to agree with Rosie. The service user suffers too, not just the traders. Now that they always close roads for works instead of using traffic lights, road users face detours of many miles which adds up.

Posted by Kate on 24 August 2014 at 19:14

View all 6 comments on this article

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