In his capacity as Vice President of Burton Chamber, Else Solicitors Managing Partner, Chris Else, has been interviewed on BBC TV regional news regarding the effects of the St Peters Bridge Road closure.
Chris was interviewed because he recently instigated a meeting which was attended by businesses affected by the bridge closure. The interview was aired on the BBC West Midlands evening news bulletin on Friday 3 November.
St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge provide main routes into Burton town centre carrying on average 24,000 vehicles a day each. Over the years the bearings on St Peter’s Bridge – which allow movement of the bridge as traffic travels over it – have worn and needed replacing. The bridge has been closed since August and is expected to re-open on 18 November 2017.
The closure has severely impacted local businesses. The average drop in revenue is reported to be 40% with one business reporting an 80% reduction in customers. This includes adjacent shops and restaurants but also secondary support businesses such as accountants who have been asked to wait until these businesses have recovered before being paid.
Commenting in his interview Chris said:
“At the meeting and in subsequent dialogue with Staffordshire County Council, there has been much talk about ‘unintended consequences’ to businesses following the Bridge closure. I wanted to do everything possible to ensure these businesses are helped to survive and that Councillors understand the impact of these unintended consequences.”
“Work on the second bridge – Burton Bridge – is due to take place in 2018 and I wanted to ensure that proper consultation and lobbying was carried to minimise the effects on local businesses whilst the second bridge is closed.”
Since the meeting and subsequent lobbying, Staffordshire County Council has agreed to defer work on Burton Bridge until the summer school holidays. The Council has also agreed to consult with affected businesses in respect of the works on the second bridge and will try and keep 1-2 lanes open in order to keep traffic flowing and allow access to local businesses.