Businesses suffering due to gas works


Wimbledon broadway businesses are counting the cost of on-going gas main repairs which are forcing customers elsewhere.

By Charles Forrester

WIMBLEDON Broadway businesses are being forced to the wall by gasworks that are set to last well into 2010.

The gasworks, part of a £1.5 million project to renew gas mains, are being carried out by Southern Gas Networks and are expected to be completed by June next year.

Currently, the rolling works aim to complete the section between Wimbledon Bridge and Kings Road before November 24, when work will be suspended until January 4 for the annual Wimbledon Winter Wonderland.

Iain Corsie, of Red’s restaurant, said he had seen a 30-40% drop in business since the gasworks moved outside his restaurant.

He added claims for compensation were not being dealt with fully by Southern Gas, despite promises from their assistance teams.

Other business owners also confirmed that there had been a sharp decline in business, as reliance on passing trade and the blocking of side streets for parking meant that customers were staying away.

Mr Corsie said that he and other restaurateurs had lost trade from the New Wimbledon Theatre as theatre-goers were unwilling to cross the road despite lucrative discounts being offered.

One business-owner admitted under anonymity that he may not even be able to generate enough income to pay staff wages for the week.

Deliveries and waste uplift from businesses on the Broadway are also being affected, as front and rear access to properties is now impossible.

Local cabbies are also up in arms over the project, despite admitting that they were essential.

One cab driver said: “It’s a nightmare and there’s more to come.”

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