At least roadworks will not stop Cupid’s arrow in Warwick
RESTAURANT owners in Warwick have heaved a sigh of relief that the seemingly never-ending roadworks in High Street and Jury Street will not be finished off over Valentine’s Day.
County council contractors are particularly keen to work with town centre traders after the resurfacing project, which first began in March, 2012, led to endless complaints after starting late and causing major disruption to the recession-hit local economy.
Restaurateurs like Malcolm Cook at Cafe Catalan and Graham Hunter at High Pavement, which opened four months ago, were worried that the remainder of the work - which will inevitably lead to a one-way traffic system and less parking - was to be done between February 13 and 15.
Mr Cook said: “Thankfully, we are now being assured it will not be done that week. But by my reckoning when the work is finished it will be the seventeenth week of disruption since this ill-conceived scheme commenced.”
At the High Pavement restaurant, Mr Hunter, the general manager, said: “The sooner this work is done the better but we do need to avoid Valentine’s Day. Any disruption to the movement of traffic puts people off coming into town.”
Sue Butcher, chairwoman of the town’s Chamber of Trade, said the council needed to finish off some remedial work and replace the Keep Left signs and bollards that kept being knocked over on the two roads, which join near the town council building.
She said: “We believe Mondays to Wednesdays are the quietest time to get this job done and suggested a few dates but ideally avoiding either side of the half-term.”
By way of compensation, the county council, district and town council donated a total of £13,000 to the town centre marketing team which has come up with a Warwick Rocks brand logo which is being used on shopping bags.
Money has also been spent on extra advertising, a shopping guide leaflet which is about to be produced and a set of advice pamphlets on how traders can better promote their businesses by using social media like Twitter and Facebook.
A further £10,000 - which came as a consultation prize from the Mary Portas competition - has yet to be allocated. It had been hoped to use the cash to create a Winter Wonderland Christmas snowscene display near St Mary’s church but there wasn’t enough time before the start of the festive season and so the money may be used on another project or held back until next year.
It is also hoped that before too long a new town centre manager will be appointed to work with traders on promotional ideas.
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Weather for Warwick
Tuesday 21 May 2013
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