FURIOUS restaurant owners said unwelcome road closures have blighted their businesses.
Eateries and other small businesses on the Caerwys to Rhydymwyn stretch of the main A541 Mold to Denbigh road will be affected by road closures for the third weekend in a month this coming weekend.
Business owners insist they were not written to by the council in advance of the works and are angry the weekend closures were only suspended for a council-supported event.
Tommy Gallagher, who runs a car sales and hire business in Afonwen, said what made people most angry was that closures were abandoned the week of the Mold Food Festival.
“Flintshire Council were happy to allow everyone through for the festival,” he said.
“And then they close it for the small businesses when we’re on the tail end of the longest recession in generations.”
“It seems like they’re just looking after themselves.”
Neil Diack took over the Antelope Hotel in Rhydymwyn with his wife Ellie six months ago. He said the first Sunday the road was closed, his meal sales were down from the normal 100 to just eight.
“It stinks,” he said.
“We’re upset. We’ve spent six months investing effort and a lot of money into trying to build a business.
“People’s habits are changed very easily.
“If you come here with a family of four or six and then you can’t get through and so go somewhere else, that has a knock-on effect.
“Just driving the seven mile detour, you’re going to come across half a dozen other restaurants.
“People might think ‘oh, that new restaurant wasn’t too bad’, and then we’ve lost that business.”
Mr Diack said he contacted the council and suggested alternative arrangements that would have caused less trouble.
“I asked if it could be changed to overnight or earlier in the morning,” he said.
“But I was told that wasn’t possible because they couldn’t change the plans.”
Simon Ellis, of Cherry Pie restaurant near Mold, said he was visited by a council officer two days before the closures came into effect.
He said his takings were 50 per cent down.
“People couldn’t get to us,” he said.
“I just feel somebody in an office somewhere hasn’t come and checked out the situation here. They haven’t given us any thought at all.”
Neal Cockerton, Flintshire Council’s head of assets and transportation, said that due to the narrow road width, road closures had been required at certain times.
“These closures have taken place over weekends when traffic is at its least and a longer working day can be achieved,” he said.
He said works scheduled during the Mold Food Festival were suspended because of “an anticipated significant amount of traffic from across the region”.
He said properties in the vicinity of the works had received a letter advising of the works and advance warning signs had been displayed.
He said access to all businesses had been maintained throughout the work.