Road works on a major roundabout in Caerphilly have been causing “massive” disruption for trade, a local business owner says.
Work began on the roundabout back in October. The busy junction connects Caerphilly with other Rhymney Valley towns, and is a key route from the area to both Cardiff and Newport.
Sarah Bruton has run Captiva Spa for eight years. The business is located only 100 yards from the roundabout. She says that is the biggest challenge that she and her team has faced.
“Since October, we have seen a massive downturn in trade. Nobody could get around the area, customers didn’t want to come in to the town, and councillors very much put forward the message that Caerphilly was shut for business.”
Miss Bruton is an administrator for the Facebook page Keep Caerphilly Moving, a forum for residents and businesses in the town to exchange information about the roundabout works.
A number of people have posted on the page complaining about the works, saying the congestion has added hours on to their journeys and made their commute a nightmare.
Miss Bruton says that despite some progress being made with the opening of two additional lanes to help improve traffic flow, the damage to her business’s yearly turnover has been severe.
“There has been a huge improvement since the lanes were opened, but I would still say that we are about an average of 10% down in terms of revenue, year on year. That has been the experience of us being located right on the road works, and the experience of most businesses in Caerphilly as well.”
The road works are due to continue until next Autumn, with these delays hitting the town and its community of local independent businesses in months leading up to Christmas, one of the busiest times of the year for many.
Hefin David, the Labour Assembly Member for Caerphilly, says he has listened to the concerns of a number of residents about this issue, and says he is optimistic that there will be further developments in 2018:
“We have noticed that traffic is a little bit better. What I would like the Council to do is to consider how that is impacting up to Christmas, and then have further dialogue in the New Year. This is a project that is scheduled to last 52 weeks after it began back in October. The question is, does it really need to be that length of time?”
“This is a huge issue. It is an issue that matters to the people that I represent. I want changes like this to be made to improve the lives of people in Caerphilly.”
In a statement, Caerphilly Borough Council and the roundabout’s main contractor, Walters UK Ltd, say they are continually monitoring the progress of the scheme, but post-Christmas, the traffic management arrangements will revert back to single lanes for a period of time.