A Green Party District Councillor is urging Gloucestershire Highways to support Brimscombe businesses that are feeling the pinch of lengthy road closures.
Beki Aldam, Green Party District Councillor for Brimscombe and Thrupp, is highlighting the plight of business owners on Toadsmoor road, who say they are struggling because of the road closure.
Cllr Aldam said: “Gloucestershire County Council Highways are extremely busy, and try to maintain all the roads in our county on a tight budget. They work hard to ensure the roads are fit for purpose. However, I do feel they need to work more closely with both residents and local businesses to ensure the essential works they – and utilities companies – undertake, do not unnecessarily impact those living and working along the roads.”
Jeanette and Gary Smith who own Interiors at No. 36, fear their independent family business will not last through the summer, despite it being a profitable operation: “I feel Highways need to do more to support small businesses,” said Jeanette. “We have always supported the community and we believe it is important to do so. Right from the beginning, our aim was to give back if we could. We give raffle prizes to schools, we give away vouchers for charities to use. We gave a donation to the Thrupp and Brimscombe Party in the Playing Field last year. We were able to do that because our business is viable and was afloat. Now, in the last twelve months, we’ve had three months of road closures, and it’s killing our otherwise healthy business.”
Founded four years ago, Interiors at No. 36 successfully weathered the closures and lockdowns of the pandemic, only to see sales and footfall plummeting due to repeated road closures.
Cllr Aldam added: “Independent and family-run businesses are at the heart of our communities. Jeanette and Gary give a lot back to our local area. It is unfair that they should bear the economic brunt of constant closures in this way. On top of the cost of living crisis and the disastrous soar in energy tariffs, this is enough for them to lose their livelihoods.
After pushback from residents, Chalford Parish Council, and County Councillor Chloe Turner, the road can now open before 9 am and after 4 pm, rather than remain closed for the full period.
Work is due to begin on Toadsmoor Road on Monday, July 27, and will reopen on Saturday, September 3rd.