Pub left 'isolated' by roadworks in Gornal street

A pub landlord say trade has been hit after claiming a series of roadwork projects effectively left it cut off to traffic.

Manager James Stevens says trade has been hit at The Chapel House pub by nearby roadworks
Manager James Stevens says trade has been hit at The Chapel House pub by nearby roadworks

The Chapel House pub, in Lower Gornal, has seen a downturn in trade, claims the pub's landlord James Stevens.

Ruiton Street has been block off on various occasions roadworks including on a burst water main.

And further works are due to be held in Vale Street in the coming weeks.

Dudley Council says it is working with South Staffs Water to minimise disruption.

But Mr Stevens, who manages the Holden’s-owned pub, says he the organisations are not communicating.

The one-half of the road on Ruiton Street

He said: “I’ve got a lovely pub, but I might as well put it on the moon.

"It’s certainly got us scratching our chins – how are you expected to trade if they have shut down your area?

“And people wonder why pubs are shutting down – you can’t afford to lose your margins.We’re a community pub, so our regulars help and support us.

“My bug-bear was that less fortunate pubs than ourselves would have shut.

"Some pubs could not afford three months of this and it would shut them down.”

A section of Ruiton Street, where it meets Robert Street, has been closed off because new homes are being built.

And Vale Street, at the very top of the road, will also be closed for more roadworks during the school holidays.

The roads leading to the pub, which has been there since 1834, have been worked on since April, says Mr Stevens.

He has called for agencies to communicate better in future.

Manager James Stevens

The 42-year-old said: “I think the lesson to be learned – I don’t know if it’s possible, but There needs to be communication between agencies. The work needs to be co-ordinated better.”

Mike Morris, network performance manager at South Staffs Water, said: “We carried out emergency works to repair a burst main in Ruiton Street , Lower Gornal for two days in May 2019.

"Although the road already had traffic management set up for the gas improvement works, we had to set up our own temporary traffic management as our work was in a different area of the road covered by the gas improvement works. We completed the work within two days, but are sorry for any inconvenience caused during that time.”

Dudley Council cabinet member, Councillor Karen Shakespeare, who oversees highways, added: “Supporting local businesses is something that is very important to us.

"We have done our very best to communicate about the road closure in Ruiton Street to residents and motorists in a number of different ways, while ensuring pedestrian access is maintained to allow continued footfall through to the pub on the other side.

“We do have regular meetings with utility providers and agencies to co-ordinate roadworks to minimise disruption.

"The forthcoming closure on Vale Street, for instance, will see both the council and South Staffs Water carry out work at the same time.

"It has also been programmed to take place during the school summer holidays when traffic flows are lighter, and after the completion of the works on Ruiton Street to minimise disruption.

“While we understand the frustration and inconvenience that roadworks inevitably cause, the net result will see a number of new homes built, bringing new residents into the village and potentially new customers for the pub which is just over the road.”

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