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Spirit of Sittingbourne roadworks are affecting local businesses

Businesses in Sittingbourne are starting to feel the pinch as roadworks for the town's regeneration run on.

The consortium behind Spirit of Sittingbourne recently announced work on A2 St Michael’s Road would not be complete until at least October 22.

It means the scheme is more than a month behind schedule.

Roadworks being completed in St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne
Roadworks being completed in St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne

A diversion has been created using Station Street and the link to West Street, which will remain in place until the work has been done, when it will be closed off.

Owner of the Fountain of Ale in Station Street, Calum Darcy, said he has noticed a drop in people visiting the pub.

He said: “With everything that’s been going on access to the pub has been quite restricted.

“It can be frustrating. It looks like we are shut with all the fences that are up.

“We use social media quite a lot and we have put banners around in a few places.

Calum Darcy in the Fountain of Ale
Calum Darcy in the Fountain of Ale

“There is not an awful lot we can do. We get quite a few people asking if we are still open but as soon as they come in we reassure them.

“They just have to fight their way through the fences.”

Mr Darcy said the time the pub seems to suffer the most is during the day.

"I have certainly seen a drop in trade from noon to about 4pm, that is where the biggest drop has come from,” he said.

“It was very steady throughout the day but sometimes now we can sit here on our own for quite a few hours.

Roadworks being completed in St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne (4608767)
Roadworks being completed in St Michael's Road, Sittingbourne (4608767)

“Our mindset is that once it is done, things will improve.”

Over the road, Sittingbourne Off Licence says it is struggling to cope.

Manager, Harry Rav, said: “This is affecting us really bad.

“People cannot come here from getting out of the station. They are getting diverted and going different ways and people do not know how to cross the road from the station to us.

“From the station, you cannot even see our shop.

“They keep extending the works, we are finding it very hard to continue. We are really struggling.”

The £57m project will eventually include an eight-screen cinema, restaurants such as Nandos and Pizza Express and a Travelodge hotel.


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