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"West Quay is dead", says trader following river wall repairs
A TRADER who has run his West Quay business for 25 years says he is unsure of its future following extensive repairs to the river wall.
The wall collapsed in heavy downpours in November 2011 and a massive project has seen it restored to a higher standard.
During repairs, Adrian Fraser, of West Quay Records, has had to endure an 18-week wait to re-open and a big green barrier blocking the view of his shop front.
But, despite the area being open for business again, he says traders have been left in a “desperate situation”.
He told the Mercury: “The wall collapse and the disruption following it has ruined my business. Foot flow is still terrible - most days West Quay is dead.
“It seems to have gone from bad to worse. I actually had more customers when the green boarding was up.
“I don't understand it. Maybe more signage would help, but something needs to be done soon or I won't be able to carry on trading.”
Businesses are also concerned about a scheme to pedestrianise the area and two-way traffic along West Quay, as many had assumed it would be a one-way street.
Plans indicate open access to Northgate car park from West Quay, but residents feel two-way access would create problems.
Westover ward councillor Brian Smedley said: “Residents are not happy about this proposal, as the road is clearly only large enough for a single line of traffic between parked cars and the pavement.
“We support the opening up of the car park access, but this was always presented as an 'exit route' - even on county maps as recent as March this year, when the scheme was approved.
“Residents would be happier with an entrance route via Castle Street and an exit via the car park.”
But a spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “Traffic has always been able to travel in either direction on that stretch of West Quay.
“Opening up a new entrance/exit to improve access to parking spaces and enable another means of exit to replace the pedestrianised section of West Quay was always part of the plan.”
A meeting will be held tomorrow (October 1) at 4pm at Homecastle House in Chandos Street to discuss issues surrounding West Quay.
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