Businesses in Horncastle count the cost of roadworks

Roadworks at Dear's Garage
Roadworks at Dear's Garage

Frustrated owners of a Horncastle business say they could hit Lincolnshire County Council with a claim for compensation after revealing trade has plummeted during the town’s roadworks.

Kim Dear, whose family own Dear’s Garage on Lincoln Road, said the impact of the road improvements on trade was ‘massive’ and described the loss of petrol sales as ‘mega’.

She was supported by other businesses in the area, including Bush Tyres, who said the closure of Langton Hill as part of the improvements had seen a ‘big decline’ in trade.

Local councillors have also raised concerns about signs in the town centre which they say indicate the High Street and Market Place are closed.

Businesses stess they are open and the News understands some are also considering compensation claims, particularly as the roadworks still have at least a month to run.

However, Lincolnshire County Council says it will not be able to offer compensation.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “Whilst we entirely understand the position of those affected, it’s the statutory duty of the county council to maintain Lincolnshire’s highways.

“Because of this, we’re unable to offer any compensation for loss of business.

“We’d like to assure everyone affected by these works that we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption, including maintaining access to businesses and residents as best we can.

Access to the Dear garage is in a section of Lincoln Road controlled by temporary lights in operation as part of the West Street/Langton Hill improvements.

Mrs Dear said: “We have our regulars, but we rely a lot on passing trade. Our regulars have been reluctant to use us because they are worried about getting back onto Lincoln Road. Passing trade has been hit hardest.

“They (the roadworks) have had a massive impact.

“We’ve never been as quiet. You are talking hundreds of pounds a day.

“The impact on our petrol sales is mega.”

Mrs Dear confirmed the business could consider submitting a claim.

A spokesman for Bush Tyres said trade had dropped off since the closure of Langton Hill. He said: “It is impossible to say exactly how much we’ve lost but it is a lot quieter.

“We’ve noticed a big difference.”

One of the criticisms levelled at the county council is a lack of signs for vehicles heading to Horncastle from Woodhall Spa via the B1191.

C0un Davies added: “The A158 works are going well and are still on track to be complete in four weeks. ”