Traders vent their anger at meeting

Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.
Members of the Amble business community who are concerned about signage and access to Coquet Enterprise Park.

Desperate moves are being made in a bid to alleviate concerns of traders on an industrial estate who fear their businesses will suffer after a ‘double kick in the teeth’.

Business owners on Amble’s Coquet Enterprise Park have spoken of their despair after advertising signs on the approach to the site were removed a fortnight ago by the county council because they posed a ‘health and safety risk’.

They were then hit by the news that the road which leads to the industrial estate’s main entrance would be closed for up to three months to allow for the construction of a roundabout and drainage installation works, as part of Persimmon Homes’ housing scheme at nearby Marks Bridge.

The closure order is set to be effective from March 9 until June 30. The road is expected to be closed until June 12.

While there will be an alternative entrance to the site, via Percy Drive, traders fear that this will have a big impact on them.

The concerns were voiced at a meeting on Tuesday night and a number of plans for action are to be taken, including launching a petition.

Would-be Lib Dem MP Julie Pörksen and Sarah Mitchell, who was representing MP Sir Alan Beith, attended the discussion.

The pair said that they would push the county council to erect signs on the lead up to the estate which would list businesses on the Enterprise Park. They will also call for the construction work to be carried out as quickly as possible so that the road is closed for as short a time as possible.

They also told traders that Persimmon had indicated that they wanted to finish the work by the end of May.

Afterwards, Mrs Pörksen said: “We will try to make sure the council takes action so that customers know Amble is open for business as usual during the chaos and they know of the diversions during these lengthy roadworks.”

Ann Burke, chairman of Amble Business Club, told the meeting that the removed signs had been destroyed.

Traders were frustrated about the lack of consultation and said that the removal of the signs was already having a big impact on their businesses.