Business hit hard by Rugby roadworks anguish

A furniture business in Rugby says it has been losing as much as £12,000 a week in trade due to a four-week road closure.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 7:39 am
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 8:46 am
Owners of a furniture business in Cawston, are annoyed with the four week closure of Coventry Road, which is seriously affecting trade for them. Pictured: Anthony, Gary & Liz Cole. NNL-160823-225322009

The Furniture Gallery said it usually attracts a passing trade of some 20 vehicles a day at its showroom on the A4071 Coventry Road in Cawston, but when the Advertiser spoke to the firm on Tuesday afternoon, it was said to have fallen to zero.

The A4071 is closed to traffic until at least September 16 while roadworks are carried out.

Anthony Cole, who runs Hutch, the website side of the business for the owners – his parents Gary and Liz – is angry that the highways department at Warwickshire County Council did not give enough notice about the road closure.

“The first we heard about it was when we saw signs going up about two weeks before work started,” said Anthony. “Had we known about it earlier we could have planned for this with a promotion or done some advertising to warn customers about it.”

The showroom is still accessible to business customers but Anthony fears people are immediately scared off by the closure signs and said deliveries have also gone astray with drivers left baffled by the diversion route.

Anthony, of Kilsby near Daventry, is also frustrated that the work appears to be taking longer than needed.

He claimed that only three men were carrying out the road resurfacing work on some days and that a larger team could see the project completed in a fortnight.

The company has been at the site for two-and-a-half years since relocating from two bases in Leamington and Coventry.

The firm, which was first founded in the mid-1990s, consolidated into one site at Cawston after upgrading a former corn barn in a £100,000 revamp.

Warwickshire County Council said last week that comprehensive road repairs are needed on the A4071 because it has ‘reached the end of its serviceable life’.

It said a full closure was required ‘due to the extensive nature of the repairs’ and that the works were scheduled for the summer holidays to minimise disruption.

The Advertiser invited the county council to respond to Anthony’s criticisms but a spokeswoman said yesterday (Wednesday) that it had nothing further to add.