Town businesses left counting the cost

ROADWORKS on a major arterial route in Arbroath may have had a serious economic impact - and not in a good way.

The programme of resurfacing, which saw the Dundee Road closed between the Westway and Infirmary Brae for seven weeks, has had a negative affect according to businesses.

The roadworks, which began in February, finished a week earlier than the estimated eight-week schedule, saw businesses, particularly those in the Ladyloan area, badly hit.

Carol Shand, proprietor of the Tutties Neuk, saw her pub marooned at the edge of the roadworks. She described the situation in her pub: “I’ll tell you, it was like the Marie Celeste in here. Absolutely! Business has been affected. It’s just been appalling!”

She is particularly upset with how she was informed of the work. “This guy came to the door and handed me a letter, basically saying they were away to shut the road,” she revealed.

Carol explained that in this instance, because the roadworks were a planned event she had no recourse to claim on her insurance, which might have been the case if the lengthy road closure had been the result of a serious accident.

And the proprietor is particularly upset by what she perceives as a lack of support from Angus Council in the matter. Carol explained: “We’ve got rates and everything to pay, we’ve got a lease for a car park that was sitting empty. There might be nobody in the pub but we’ve still got these rates to pay. We couldn’t do anything. A lot of folk thought the road was closed along here.”

Another business owner, who declined to be named, also slammed the effect on local companies. He said: “It bypassed the whole of the centre of the town. I think if you asked any business in town they would say they have suffered. It’s not benefiting the town, it’s simply getting rid of budget cash. There are far more pressing issues in Arbroath than that Dundee Road.”

He continued: “I was given zero notice. The first I knew was when the road was closed. I think the way they handled this has been very, very poor to be honest. There is a certain amount of denial. They’re supposed to give you 28 days’ notice, I believe. If I knew a month before I could have budgeted and staffed better. I had taken on two new staff. I have 13 guys here who rely on me for a wage. We still maintained our existing customer base, which I’m very thankful for.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We have a statutory duty to keep the adopted roads in a safe and serviceable condition. The A92 Dundee Road in Arbroath, which is a vital artery into the centre of Arbroath, was identified in a Scottish roads maintenance survey as requiring remedial work.

“Prior to the work beginning, letters were handed into local businesses and there were also discussions with proprietors. In addition, the works were widely publicised in the media and through the council’s own website.

“We are pleased that the roadworks finished a week earlier than anticipated.”