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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Ulverston traders fuming as cobble work overruns

ON the day the controversial work to repair Ulverston’s cobbled street was due to be finished... this is how it looks.

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FRUSTRATION: Traders Lynne Watson, left, from Mad Hatters Tearooms and Tina Henshall from Samovar in Market Street where the work on relaying the cobbled surface has overrun LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50040804B004

Traders are fuming after repeatedly urging the council to make sure the work did not overrun – as it did last time the diggers rolled in.

The job was originally penciled in to start on October 1, but workmen did not arrive until two weeks later and the repairs along Market Street were supposed to last four weeks.

But now traders have been told they will continue until November 16 – and work looks set to resume in the new year.

Tina Henshall owns chocolate shop Samovar, one of the properties directly affected by the work.

She said business had been severely disrupted at a crucial time of year and the delays were “not acceptable”.

Lynne Watson, owner of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Room, has been particularly badly affected as an access ramp has had to be put in place to allow customers to get to her door.

But despite providing public access, cutting across the area being worked on, she said the pathway was hazardous and unsuitable for people with wheelchairs or prams.

She even took a photo of heavy machinery cutting across the public access route and said she witnessed an elderly lady slip outside her property, requiring assistance from passers-by.

Mrs Watson said trade was down by as much as 50 per cent since the repairs began and she had been forced to shut early and ask employees not to come in to work.

She added: “If they did it in January, everybody would have been happy.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria County Council said: “Due to both site constraints and the amount of time required to clean the removed blocks, it is expected that the works will be extended on Market Street.

“However, it is of paramount importance that the contractors do a safe and thorough job and the Dickensian Festival later this month will not be affected by the works.”

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