A business owner says he and his customers are being driven round the bend by a sudden road closure which blocked direct access to his town centre premises.
Joe Jefferson, who has run Minter’s Car Wash in St Annes for the past 14 years, has seen takings plummet since the junction with Park Road was closed while work is carried out on the side of adjacent premises.
A diversion has been signposted by highways authority Lancashire County Council, but the one-way system in the town centre means drivers face a lengthy detour to get to his premises and Mr Jefferson said: “A lot of them give up and are just staying away.
“Normally on a Friday, which can be the busiest day of the weekend, I would expect to take around £300 – last Friday I took little more than £75.
“On Monday, just one car came in for cleaning, whereas I would normally expect to see 30 or more.
“It’s disastrous for the business and I have been told it could be like this for two weeks.”
Mr Jefferson says his misery at the situation was compounded by him having no warning of the closure – and having to alternate between Fylde Council, who he found has declared the adjacent building unsafe, and Lancashire County Council, as the highway authority, in a bid to find out what was going on and how long the road would be closed.
“The first I knew about the entrance from Park Road being blocked off was when I turned up for work last Thursday morning,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.
“I have spent 14 years building up this business and have never known business so bad.
“I have cleaning contracts with the police and taxi firms and time is important to them. They are too busy to spend ages driving round and round to get to us.
“I asked the County Council if they could do anything to help, like temporarily allowing drivers to turn left from Wood Street into St Andrew’s Road South but they said by the time that could be looked at, the work would be over.”
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade, is landlord of the building occupied by Mr Jefferson’s business and he said: “It’s dreadful that the first he knew about it was when he turned up for work.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Fylde Council has declared the building unsafe which means the road must be closed immediately in case of risk to anyone using it.”
“We’ve signed a diversion so that people can still access Back St Annes Road West.”