Inconvenience store: Family business blighted by roadworks
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
A family-run convenience store has lost half its trade due to gas works right outside the front door.
Woodside News Food and Wine, known locally as Caplan Stores, in Salhouse Road, Sprowston, has been hit by the work being carried out by Cadent to improve gas pipes in the area.
The shop is run by Rose Kaplan, 52, and her daughters Dee, 33, and Mel, 24, but the road closure has meant customers are simply unable to access the business by car with a long diversion in place.
Dee said: "The family has been running this shop for around 15 years and we have not seen anything like this before. We have never had such little trade.
"It is really annoying and we feel stuck. It is not a great situation when we are not doing the trade we normally would but have still got bills and a mortgage to pay."
The works began on September 6 with the road being closed in three phases starting with the junction of Blue Boar Road and Woodside Road to Hammond Way.
Dee continued: "We have had to ask staff not to come in during this time as we can't afford to pay them. Trade has dramatically dropped.
"When the road was shut for 10 months last year there was still some sort of access to the shop. But this time they have shut both ends and we are stuck in the middle."
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Some customers have offered to put up temporary signs in an effort to support what has become an inconvenience store.
The impact of the closure is also being felt to a lesser extent further down Salhouse Road towards the city.
A staff member at Norwich Glass said customers are being delayed as a result of traffic jams around Blue Boar Lane.
He said: "It makes it difficult for us to get out because no-one wants to give up their place in the queue. it's just a pain in the backside.
"Delivery drivers are getting irate. But we are lucky we are not stuck. The shops on the other side of Blue Boar Lane are getting hammered."
Knitting Machine Repairs has seen heavy goods lorries diverting down Hammond Way from the NDR as a result of the closure.
A staff member said: "It is noisy down the road but it has not affected us as a business as we work from home anyway."
What Cadent have said
Cadent said the work is a 30 year programme to replace ageing iron gas mains, some laid in the 1800s, with brand new plastic pipes that will maintain safe and reliable gas supplies into the next century.
The company said the business may be entitled to compensation and a staff member will be visiting the shop soon.
A spokeswoman said: "Cadent has been carrying out vital maintenance work in the area. We know this has caused disruption, but we hope people understand this is essential work to keep the gas flowing safely and reliably.
“We have schemes in place to support business impacted by the works and would ask anyone who is affected to contact our customer service team."