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Firms fear closure as business drops 85% amid ongoing roadworks

Photo: ITV News Central

Business owners in Wolverhampton say they're at risk of closing down because a major roadworks scheme is costing them tens of thousands of pounds in lost business.

Bilston Road in Wolverhampton has been partially blocked since June for a six-month project to repair tram lines.

As the works hit the half-way point, firms along the street say they're struggling to survive.

Ann Creed, from Mazcare, said their year on year takings were down a staggering 85 per cent - around £45,000.

They have also had to let one member of staff go, she said.

The firm has spent around £300 making their own signs informing customers they're still open - but, she said, they kept being taken down.

The council says it makes their own signage non-compliant - but why should I care about that? We've not been kept in the loop about what's going on at all. If it actually finishes by Christmas I'll be amazed.

– Mazcare, Ann Creed

Meanwhile, Hugglepets in neighbouring Cooper Street said business was down around 65 per cent.

They too have let one member of staff go, and have been forced to cancel their apprenticeship scheme, which takes on between four and five new workers each year.

NES Electrical said it is down around 70 per cent, while the Red Lion pub quoted a similar figure.

MP Pat McFadden is now calling for the creation of a hardship fund to help businesses while the works are taking place.

  • MP Pat McFadden