Traders' anger at roadworks on A41 Bilston Road

Traders have spoken of their concerns over upcoming roadworks on a busy Black Country road which they fear will hit their businesses hard.

A meeting was held at the Red Lion Pub for traders to find out information about work on the A41 Bilston Road
A meeting was held at the Red Lion Pub for traders to find out information about work on the A41 Bilston Road

Tram track maintenance works will be in place on Bilston Road from next month, meaning traffic entering Wolverhampton will have to use a different route.

However, motorists leaving the town will still be able to use the road.

Businesses in Bilston Road have hit out at the plans at a meeting, saying they have only been recently told of the work and stress they ‘rely on passing trade to survive’.

WATCH footage from the meeting:

Midland Metro Alliance bosses say they have been working with residents and traders since April and they stress they are continuing to visit businesses to consider their ‘individual needs’.

Abi Hatipoglu, owner of Coffee Express, said he was ‘scared’ about the future of his cafe.

He said: “I’ve had the business for 10 years. I’m scared for my business because it relies on passing trade otherwise we cannot survive. I’m going to lose customers.

“No one is going to add to their journey to come to my cafe for a bacon butty or a sandwich – they’ll go somewhere that’s easier to get to. It’ll take me a month to get my customers back after the six month roadworks are complete.”

Other traders also expressed their concerns at the meeting held at the Red Lion pub.

Councillor Harman Banger with Amo Singh from NES Electrical

Rakesh Adher, owner of the family-run pub, said: “People are simply not going to come to the pub.

“When the tram tracks were first put down we lost trade then 10 years later work was done to the overhead bridge and we lost trade again.

"It’s us that will take the hit. We’re going to lose trade passing by along with our regulars.

"Our regular customers stop by for a drink or food but they won’t if they’re stuck in traffic or have to come around a different way.”

The works will be put in place from June 11.

A copy of the plans

Sunil Kanda, owner of, said the business relies on the summer months for the best business.

He said: “We rely on the summer because we’re a seasonal business. People often buy more cars during the season so we have more people coming to us.

"Because of the amount of traffic, it’ll put people off and they won’t come to us and they’ll go somewhere else.”

Davinder Singh, of the Little Garden Centre on Lampton Road, just off Bilston Road, also said he would lose customers.

He said: “When it’s winter trade is always low so we rely on the summer to be busy.

“Our customers may not come to us and may go to some of our nearby competitors because they’re easier to get to.”

The work is expected to be completed in time for Christmas.

Traders believe that work will reduce the amount of business they receive

A spokesperson for the Midland Metro Alliance said: “The tram track between Priestfield and The Royal tram stops is in need of essential maintenance as it has been in place since 1999.

“Bilston Road will be open for traffic leaving Wolverhampton for the duration of the works, whilst traffic entering Wolverhampton will follow clearly signed diversions.

“The Midland Metro Alliance has been working with local stakeholders since April when it first notified over 3,500 residents and businesses of the works.

“We are continuing to visit the businesses on Bilston Road to consider their individual needs. This process will continue throughout the works with an aim to minimise disruption.

"We and our partners, including Wolverhampton City Council, are very clear in the fact that Bilston Road will remain open for business.

"Traffic Management for the works will be put in place from June 11 and from this date tram customers will complete their journeys by a bus replacement service which has an increased frequency during peak times.

"We aim to have the tram open to passengers by Christmas and as part of the works the road will also be resurfaced benefitting all who use it."

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