Mass road works drive away Christchurch businesses' customers

Laneway Espresso owner Stuart Winter outside his Durham St cafe, which is stradled by road works.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Laneway Espresso owner Stuart Winter outside his Durham St cafe, which is stradled by road works.

Central Christchurch business owners have taken a swipe at constant large-scale road works, blaming the projects for driving away customers and stunting their growth.

Crown company Otakaro Limited on Wednesday acknowledged its work made it hard for people to see businesses and said temporary parking and lane reductions were an "unfortunate consequence" of significant upgrades.

Manchester St works started in May and should be complete by the end of 2017, while Durham St would be finished about April.

Otakaro chief executive Albert Brantley has urged people to keep supporting businesses in areas of construction.
LAWRENCE SMITH / STUFF

Otakaro chief executive Albert Brantley has urged people to keep supporting businesses in areas of construction.

Laneway Espresso owner Stuart Winter said he had lost business from morning commuters put off by road works on Durham St since May.

READ MORE:
Durham St reduced to one lane for five and a half months
Next phase of transport plan work under way in Christchurch's Manchester St
Antony Gough: The 'inaccessible city' 
Scirt to leave but roadworks to stay
Bid to stop central Christchurch roading projects fails
Accessible city: Can we do it?
Transport plan for 'an accessible city'

"All of our car parking's been completely removed out the front [so] there's just not an option to stop."

A line of businesses on Manchester St are stuck operating behind caged construction fences.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

A line of businesses on Manchester St are stuck operating behind caged construction fences.

An Otakaro spokesman said there was insufficient space to provide a safe working area, car parks and a lane for vehicles until all Durham St lanes had reopened.

Winter said he and other local business owners believed the tender process for the work should have included requirements for weekend and night work.

Otakaro's spokesman said night work presented health and safety risks, could generate unacceptable noise, and was constrained by the availability of other workers and suppliers.

Great Coffee Fast owner Chris Gourley says there has been a lack of communication around road works in his area.
CARYS MONTEATH/FAIRFAX NZ

Great Coffee Fast owner Chris Gourley says there has been a lack of communication around road works in his area.

Chris Gourley, owner of Manchester St's Great Coffee Fast, said operating beside the torn-up street had been difficult.

Ad Feedback

"People don't like walking through it . . .  so it kind of impacts us pretty significantly."

He had been most frustrated by Otakaro's level of communication, which was "non-existent" until he "kicked up a fuss".

"When they first came and saw us it was all gung-ho . . . 'the programme's going to be eight weeks and then we'll be out of your way'. We're now sort of 26 weeks in."

Otakaro's spokesman said businesses were updated every two to three weeks. 

Manchester St work was delayed for about two weeks due to the removal of contaminated materials from the basement of a demolished building taking longer than expected.

Heavy rain prevented seal being poured and the discovery of underground services caused minor delays, but the section of Durham St from Kilmore to Armagh St would reopen early next year.

Stuart Winter: "We would normally have x-number of morning commuters grab their coffee on the way to work . . . we've ...
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Stuart Winter: "We would normally have x-number of morning commuters grab their coffee on the way to work . . . we've lost all of that trade".

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback