Broad Street Fury

PUBLISHED: 11:46 01 November 2006 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 May 2010

Nigel Belbin, director of Ely Computer Supplies

Nigel Belbin, director of Ely Computer Supplies

FURIOUS Ely traders are calling for compensation after the closure of Broad Street turned the area into a ghost town . Shops and restaurants experienced a sharp downturn in profits following the closure of the road on October 9 while contractors put in

FURIOUS Ely traders are calling for compensation after the closure of Broad Street turned the area into a "ghost town".

Shops and restaurants experienced a sharp downturn in profits following the closure of the road on October 9 while contractors put in foul and storm drainage to accommodate new homes.

The road re-opened ahead of schedule on Tuesday, but Nigel Belbin, director of Ely Computer Supplies is seeking legal advice about claiming compensation from developer Hopkins Homes for the business he has lost.

"It has had a major, major impact on business," Mr Belbin said.

"I can sit here all morning with no-one coming in at all; we are still open for business but people think the whole street is closed when it's not."

He said he wished to advise customers that the shop is very much open for business, but customers from further afield have been put off by signs at the A10 advising motorists that the street is closed.

"People from Wisbech and Welney have phoned the shop to say they've had a drive of 40 minutes to an hour only to turn back because they think they won't be able to get here.

"It's getting to the point where they will put local companies out of business. Normally the street is packed with people using the chip shop but it hasn't happened."

Simon Carter, manager of the Euromaster garage in Broad Street said the signage on the A10 had put customers off.

"We've had people ringing up and asking us if we're closed - because there's been no through-traffic, we've lost a lot of passing trade."

Simon Haner, who runs Jones and Co Hairdressing, said he has only lost passing trade because most customers make appointments, but said other Broad Street businesses have been hit hard.

"This is being done for profit, while other businesses on this street have lost money," he said.

"I believe they should be compensated - how would the developers like it if they had an open day at the weekend and the chip shop blocked the road off?"

When the Ely Standard contacted Hopkins Homes they said they would look into the matter.

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