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Sales are rising now Sadlers Farm roadworks on A13 and A130 are finally over
IT has been a long time coming for businesses living in the shadow of Sadlers Farm.
But now the controversial roadworks are finally nearing completion, company bosses at Sadlers Hall Farm industrial estate are finally looking forward to a brighter future.
Independent businesses on the estate, off London Road, Bowers Gifford, were left struggling after some companies saw trade plummet by as much as 90 per cent after the controversial roadworks began in June 2010.
Business owners were left with virtually no passing trade, as drivers tried their best to avoid the busy junction.
Although the £63million roadworks scheme is still unfinished, all sections are finally open to motorists. Now, business owners say sales are on the rise, as shoppers have begun trickling back onto the estate.
Graham Dodd, owner of Wet ‘n’ Dry Board Sports, said: “The opening of everything on Sadlers Farm has made a massive difference to trade and we are optimistic it will continue to get better. Previously even our regular customers steered clear. Who wants to risk wasting two hours of their lives in traffic?”
Work on Sadlers Farm stopped last week after contractors were ordered to remove all heavy machinery from the site until after the Olympics. The finishing touches of the project will be resumed in September, including the resurfacing of the roundabout and Strategic Link bypass, landscaping and improvements to footways, cycleways and bridleways.
Terry McCormack, 35, manager of Tuff Computer Company, said: “Since the contractors have moved away and everything is operational, we have seen an increase in trade, which is great, but obviously it is still nowhere near normal levels. “Our business was about 50 per cent down, but we are hopeful things will continue to improve.”
Traders are now calling for Essex County Council to advertise the opening of Sadlers Farm on their electronic road signs, to try and encourage motorists to venture back onto the junction.
Previously, the signs had been used to discourage drivers from using Sadlers Farm.
An Essex County Council spokesman said: “We’re delighted residents and local businesses are starting to see the benefits of the Sadlers Farm scheme. “We recognise there have been delays to the completion date. “We will look to display electronic messages saying Sadlers Farm has re-opened, whenever we can. We prioritise the use of the signs around messages relating to live incidents and then to planned activities and events. “Messages about Sadlers Farm will be used in balance with messages relating to live incidents and the activity around the 2012 Games, which will have to take priority over the coming weeks.”
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