Express & Star

Watch: Dudley mall boss on traders' woes after first two weeks of work on Metro extension

Midland Metro bosses have pledged to try and help businesses in Dudley affected by work on the line extension which has been going on in the town for two weeks, after complaints from traders.


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Around 40 stalls at the Plaza Mall, which has a loading bay and car park directly adjacent to where the work has been going on to deliver phase one of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line, have had access to deliveries and collections of cardboard restricted – the work has closed King Street at its junction with Flood Street and is set to last for seven more weeks.

The work going on at the back of Plaza Mall which has closed King Street in Dudley at its junction with Flood Street and restricted access for deliveries to stalls

Bosses at the Plaza Mall say the businesses have complained about the cardboard building up and providing a fire hazard and that delivery trucks have had to turn back because they can't access the loading bay due to the ongoing work.

Edward Swannie, who runs the Plaza Mall with his father and owner Tony said: "It seemed to pop up overnight directly behind us and suddenly access to our car park and loading bay was restricted or non-existent.

Edward Swannie who runs Plaza Mall with some of the build up of cardboard at the rear of the premises.

"We have since learned that leaving access to frontages, which was promised, referred to pedestrian access and not that of vehicles - and our loading bay is the latter so if they feel the need they will block it off, and that is not feasible when you have 40 businesses who need collections day in and day out.

"Another big problem is the build-up of cardboard because the twice-weekly collections are not taking place, again due to a lack of access and the build-up of it represents a fire risk.

"There was no notice given in terms of paperwork or letters, which has been acknowledged by the Metro people, and we have had a meeting with them at which they said they would take the cardboard away at their own cost so we appreciate they are listening. We also recognise the work needs to be done and there was bound to be disruption.

"But these are very legitimate concerns as well as the loss of trade because of the road closures which means less cars coming in and pedestrians not able to access King Street. We hope to work with the contractors to try and make it better over the remaining weeks."

Edward Swannie outside the loading bay at the back of Plaza Mall which has been restricted by work on the Midland Metro extension which started over a week ago

Anthony Lowbridge-Lewis from Midland Metro Alliance said the closure of King Street at its junction with Flood Street for up to nine weeks allows their team in the area to safely install street scene improvements alongside delivering the Metro itself, including new lighting columns, kerbing and paving.

He said: "We continue to maintain access to all frontages, as well as loading and unloading in the vicinity, although this may be provided at a slightly different location than usual at times and we apologise for the inconvenience that this aspect of our works may cause.

"The Midland Metro Alliance is working directly with businesses who may have additional access or loading requirements."