A LONG-STANDING trader has said lengthy roadworks were “the final nail in the coffin” for his business.
Andrew Walton, owner of the Premier Discounts store on Chester Road West in Shotton, is closing his store after 12 years in business.
He says major roadworks along the Deeside Corridor, coupled with crippling business rates, have had a devastating effect on trade.
Last week Flintshire Council announced the works, which began in January and were scheduled to last 16 weeks, would not be completed until May 20 – two weeks later than scheduled.
In February, Mr Walton said he could be as much as £16,000 out of pocket as a result of the four-month works.
Now he says the financial impact has been too much to continue.
He said: “The roadworks have had a major effect. As a result, it’s absolutely impossible to keep the store open any more.
“I’m simply not getting people through the door any more. Shotton is deserted. It’s the final nail in the coffin.
“I’ve been forced out of business. I’m yet another business to go from here.
“Customers have told me they are not coming back to Shotton because of the roadworks.
“People don’t know where they are going or where to park their cars if they want to use the shops.”
The shop will close once Mr Walton has offloaded his stock. The premises are up for sale.
He added: “I’m distraught. I don’t want to go but I simply can’t run my business anymore.
“It’s broken me. I’m tired and exhausted.
“I can’t wait to close it and get away. It’s soul destroying.
“I’ve had sleepless nights and it’s been a nightmare.”
Mr Walton indicated in December last year that his store may not last past 2014 due to high business rates in the town, something which he claims has also contributed to his closure.
“I pay £820 a month on business rates before I even sell one item.
“I just can’t support it. I’m not getting the money in to support the bills because the roadworks have killed footfall.
“I expect I’ve lost £20,000 through this.”
In a statement, a Flintshire Council spokesman said the authority was “concerned” that another business was to close in Shotton and that an officer would contact Mr Walton to see if it could be prevented.
The spokesman added that Flintshire Council collected business rates on behalf of the Welsh Government and does not have a role in setting the rates.
Roadworks on the Deeside Corridor were implemented on the basis of discussions with town councils in the area and it was acknowledged that such work was “always going to create a number of issues” in the area, the spokesman said.
A previous council statement said: “The works are to improve, upgrade and synchronise all the traffic signals between Asda, and Wepre Drive to reduce traffic congestion.
“They are being funded by Welsh Government.”