Roadwork relief plea

Ian Slater, director of Palletland, St Helens, outside his business premise. He is angry about the roadworks on Burtonhead Road and claims they have affected his business
Ian Slater, director of Palletland, St Helens, outside his business premise. He is angry about the roadworks on Burtonhead Road and claims they have affected his business
  • Business owner hits out at ‘endless’ roadworks
  • Claims Burtonwood Road resembles a ‘patchwork quilt’
  • Calls for utility companies to reduce amount of disruption

A businessman is calling for relief from roadworks after being hit in the pocket by a series of road closures and hold-ups.

Ian Slater, who owns Palletland on Burtonhead Road, is asking for greater co-operation among utilities companies carrying out work after the street was dug up twice in a few months.

The problem is these roadworks keep recurring. If you drive down the road it looks like a patchwork quilt

Ian Slater, owner Palletland on Burtonhead Road

The business has just suffered a dip in takings due to three weeks of work on the road, which has led to long queues to get through the temporary traffic lights.

This follows hard on the heels of a full road closure for electricity work earlier this year, and Mr Slater said the continuous disruption is seriously affecting firms in the area.

He said: “The problem is these roadworks keep recurring. If you drive down the road it looks like a patchwork quilt.

“This time they’ve put traffic lights on so it’s not as bad as the road closure was. That caused us no end of problems, it added 15 minutes to all our journeys and we had to go all the way round.

“However, there’s still a lack of passing trade coming in and we’ve definitely seen a drop-off. People are seeing the roadworks and are going elsewhere.

“It’s making it very difficult and when you’ve got 27 people working for you and the work’s not coming in it’s quite a difficult situation.

“I don’t know why they can’t get everybody together, dig a big hole and get it done once and for all, because we’ve just had enough.”

Mr Slater is now calling on St Helens Council to see if the town hall can do more to co-ordinate future roadworks.

He is also asking for re-painting the road markings outside Palletland to be treated as an urgent priority as the lack of lines is creating dangerous situations for employees coming in and out of the firm’s yard.

Mr Slater said: “Now they’ve dug the road up and put the tarmac back down we could do with road markings going back in. Someone who did markings was in the premises recently and I was thinking of asking them to put lines on the road.

“We’re nearly having accidents coming in and out of the yard. We’re on quite a severe bend and people are coming right across the road.”

St Helens Council said it was sorry for the disruption but said the work carried out by Scottish Power was vital and steps have been taken to make the process efficient.

A spokesman said: “St Helens Council apologises for the disruption caused by roadworks on Burtonhead Road. Major works have been in progress by Scottish Power since January 2015 to replace a 132,000 volt underground electricity cable from Rainhill to St Helens.

“All of these streets have had traffic management on them to carry out the excavation works safely. This is essential work to reduce the significant number of power outages that have experienced across St Helens in recent times.

“Scottish Power also coordinated two projects into one by laying an additional 33,000 volt cable on Burtonhead Road to reinforce the local network in the Ravenhead Retail Park area, therefore minimising further disruption.

“Due to the nature of works once the cable has been laid it is subjected to cable pulling, pressure testing and jointing of cables which is all undertaken in separate phases by specialist contractors.

“This scheme is in the final stages and should be completed by the end of July 2015.”