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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Bendy bus roadworks prompt anger
Streetcar
Traders say roadsworks for the StreetCars have brought 'mayhem'
A retailer claims roadworks to prepare Swansea streets for a "bendy bus" system have been brought in too quickly for them to cope with the disruption.

Workmen have begun the first phase of a four-month project to accommodate the 110-seater passenger vehicles.

But Denise Road, of the independent department store JT Morgan, said traders were not told the details until a fortnight before the works started.

Swansea Council said a three-day briefing event was held last October.

The Kingsway, Mansel Street and Orchard Street are the roads being altered in readiness for the 18.7m (61ft) StreetCar vehicles, dubbed a cross between a tram and bus, from early 2008.

The Welsh assembly government has provided £2.2m funding to help launch the Swansea Metro, the first of its kind in Wales, to carry passengers along existing roads and dedicated lanes between Morriston and Mumbles.

Traders by the roadworks in Swansea
There are lots of thing I could have done to help myself mitigate the effects of these roadsworks if I had known about it in good time
Denise Road, trader

But one independent trader says there has been little detail provided since last October on exactly which roads would be closed and when.

Bell Vue Way, off the Kingsway, contains JT Morgan, a four-storey department store employing more than 120 staff, as well as two hairdressers, a bridal shop, a photographers, a café, a menswear shop and bank.

Ms Road says the store has aleady faced delivery problems since the roadworks began on Thursday.

Christmas shopping

She said: "We haven't had the opportunity to let our customers know this was going to happen.

"We're having a sale next month but if I had known in time about these roadworks I would have had the sale in June.

Swansea's Kingsway
Motorists using the Kingsway face disruption until December

"There are lots of things I could have done to help myself mitigate the effects of these roadsworks if I had known about it in good time.

"We're all independents down here and we can't afford to not have business for five or six months."

A spokeman for Swansea Council said it was not possible to inform traders of the finer details of the scheme as the contract for it was not completed until 25 May.

He said: "We have spent a lot of time explaining the details of the proposals to JT Morgan since last October when they attended a three-day consultation in the Grand Theatre.

"The council has also provided a unique phone contact so that they can contact the council should they experience any problems such as access for suppliers."

He added that it was important the work was completed in November in time for the Christmas shopping season.


SEE ALSO
City streets change for bendy bus
21 Apr 06 |  South West Wales
City secures streetcar funding
10 Mar 06 |  South West Wales
£300,000 streetcar hits the road
19 Jul 05 |  South West Wales

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