End of the road?

Kim and Irene from Crown Cafe
Kim and Irene from Crown Cafe

The owners of a cafe in Cleckheaton fear they could be out of business by September because of the Westgate road closure.

Steve and Irene Kelly say custom at the Crown Cafe, right next to the roadworks, has plummeted and they are losing hundreds of pounds a week.

The roadworks will be in place until September 1, but the couple say they are worried their business may not survive.

Irene said: “Our takings have been down by around 40 per cent.

“The last couple of weekends have been particularly bad – we used to do very well on Sundays, but there is barely anything to do now.”

Steve added: “We have basically lost out on £90 a day, which helps us pay the bills.”

Companies have been given ‘loss of business’ forms by Northern Gas Networks to reimburse them for lost trade. But Steve said they were at a disadvantage because the forms asked for details of three years’ worth of trading – and they only took over the cafe 18 months ago.

He said: “Even if we did get compensation, it will probably take a while for us to get any and it might not come in time for some of the businesses around here.

“The cafe has been here for 40 years and it would be so sad to see it go.”

A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks said businesses did not have to have been trading for three years to be reimbursed.

She said: “The forms have these questions so we can get as much information as possible.

“Businesses that have only opened in the past three years will still be able to claim compensation, and we would urge them to apply if they feel they have lost out on trade due to the roadworks.”

But the Kellys believe it will be a difficult summer for many businesses in Cleckheaton.

Irene added: “It is not just us who are suffering with loss of business since the gas works .

“I think a lot of the businesses in the area are suffering at the moment – we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”