Our Christmas has been ruined already by nuisance cycle path – the street stinks of exhaust fumes… we're losing money | The Sun

FURIOUS locals say their Christmas has been ruined already by a nuisance cycle path.

Businessowners in Chorlton, Manchester, have complained that they're losing out on money and customers ever since the council approved plans for a nearly £14m cycleway route.

Frankie Dyer, who runs a bakery in the area, says the street now stinks of exhaust fumes instead of her lovely fresh bread.

In the last few months, Frankie claims to have seen 20 per cent drop in footfall – and delays with the works isn't making her financial situation any better.

She told Manchester Evening News: "There have been weeks of closed roads where there have been no workers anywhere.

“There have been a series of issues which have led to delays but nobody is being held accountable for the fact that there have been zero workmen on the streets of Chorlton for months at a time.

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"All of this is having a massive, negative impact on our business.”

The bakery boss said she's "fed up" as people usually travel from all over to visit her shop.

She added: "People come from all over Greater Manchester to shop here – people aren't cycling in here from Bolton.

"We tell people 'good luck' when they ask us where to park.

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"I’ve had to reduce staff hours, some people have left because we can’t give them enough hours.

"After trying to recruit and train good working staff up and then, through no fault of our own, not being able to give them enough hours is just devastating.

"This should be our busiest time of year but it’s just been dead.”

Frankie, who was involved in the consultation phase of the project, said she voiced her concerns months ago but had little communication with the council since.

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said they "sympathise with anyone experiencing disruption" – but delays are expected.

They said: “The Manchester to Chorlton Cycleway has been a hugely transformative project, showing the scope and ambition of the Council’s wider plan to improve walking and cycling routes throughout the city.

“Beginning last year we have engaged with residents and businesses to explain the works timeline, as well as address concerns or questions.

"Introductions were also made with the contractor who were able to provide day-to-day updates if required.

"And, Council staff engaged with concerns raised through the Chorlton Traders Group, as well as passing information down to local ward members.

“We entirely appreciate how stressful major infrastructure works are, and as ever, we appreciate the public’s patience shown throughout the year.

“Before this project began the Council published a consultation which set out to residents and businesses which were proposed, as well as allowing them a chance to comment on any potential issues.

"It was made clear that a number of parking bays would have to be removed or relocated to ensure that cycle lanes could be properly installed.

“This is directly linked to a new policy set out by the Council at the beginning of the year, which put bold strategies in place looking at how we could accelerate the city’s transition to more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

“Of course, we sympathise with anyone experiencing disruption due to this work but as with any major infrastructure project there may be delays or issues that arise during its course.

"The underground works around Four Banks were particularly difficult to navigate and as a result there has been disruption.

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“In order to repair voids found under the service it was imperative to take the extra time to ensure the final road layout was safe.

“However, the works are on course to be completed by the end of the year, only slightly behind the original end date of September, supported by additional work crews the Council has assigned specifically to ensure that it is completed on schedule.”

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