A family butchers which has been serving the community for more than a 100 years - including through the most challenging of times - is now fearing for the future of the business.

Owners of Barrons of Beef Ltd say roadworks outside the butchers are causing a decline in footfall by obstructing access.

Phillip Barron, owner of the Chorley Old Road business, and his wife, Claire, are increasingly worried about the impact the works at the front and side of their business is having on people trying to access their butchers.

The couple who live in Little Lever said they feel ‘abandoned’ and ‘ignored’ by Bolton Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) while their business suffers a ‘massive detriment'.

The Bolton News: Brothers Phil, left, and Jonathon Barron with some of the delicious creations

They are calling on the community and their customers to continue to support the business - and have written an open letter explaining the situation facing the longstanding butchers.

Works have been ongoing in the area by TfGM on Chorley Old Road and Marcus Street which is stopping customers from accessing parking and also gaining access to the premises.

And Claire said new double yellow lines will continue to have an impact when the roadworks are gone.

Claire, 45, said: “We have tried so hard to not discuss the problems with regards to staff, customers, suppliers being able to access the shop but unfortunately the problem has become worse for us and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

“This work is killing us, but we are still open, we are still stocking the window displays and we need you and your support.

“Please do not let the restricted access put you off shopping with us, we need your support now more than ever.

“We feel abandoned, we feel ignored, it is having a massive detriment on the business and through the course of the works being started we have lost thousands of pounds, and it is going to continue to do so unfortunately because nobody seems to care.

“They seem more hell bent on creating cycle lanes than protecting small businesses and residents that are already in situ.

“Honestly, we feel like nobody cares.

“I contacted Bolton Council’s Highways, and they just discharged any liability, and they sent us straight to Transport for Greater Manchester.

“A lady from Transport for Greater Manchester did contact me, she said she was going to speak to a foreman on site and they were going to try to make changes to make it more accessible for us and nothing happened.

The Bolton News: Works on Chorley Old Road and Marcus StreetWorks on Chorley Old Road and Marcus Street (Image: Claire Barron)“I tried to call her back on numerous occasions and she never bothered to call me back.

“The works are blocking off the whole front of our shop, the situation changes on a daily basis.

“There is no access to us whatsoever and it is getting worse.

“It is a six-week predicted turn around and off the top of my head it has so far been going on for four or five weeks and now there is more work.

“We objected the plans when they came out about 18 months ago, we put our feelings across and said it was going to cause massive problems for businesses like us.

“They were going to change Marcus Street to a no entry street but instead they have changed it to a one-way entry which is a little bit more favourable, but they haven’t considered the fact that they have reduced parking due to double yellow lines and we don’t have a loading bay so in the future when we get deliveries we have no choice but to park on double yellow lines.

“They have not given us any appreciation.”

Claire said the team works hard for the community and due to the works ‘the way things are going it may not be around for much longer because of how bad this situation is’.

She said: “Our staff slogged their guts out during Covid, my husband had to leave home because we have a daughter with very vulnerable illnesses.

“As soon as isolation rules came, he moved out, he ended up living in a building site with access to a kitchen, a bathroom and a mattress on the floor and he moved out so he could keep the business going, and keep people fed.

“And now we have been dumped like we don’t matter, it is heart-breaking.

“We have worked so hard for this business.

"Phillip’s father took it over in 1978 and Phillip took it over in 2007 and he works six days a week and works super hard and nobody cares about us.

“That shop has been a butcher’s shop for a hundred years and the way things are going it may not be around for much longer because of how bad this situation is.”

What a councillor said regarding the works: 

Cllr Roger Hayes said: “The works have had an impact on some of the local businesses and one of my colleagues Cllr Garry Veevers has actually taken that up with Transport for Greater Manchester, it is their scheme rather than Bolton’s scheme, to see if there is any ability to compensate for any loss of business.

“There are at least two businesses that he has been involved with.

“We are hoping that a relatively short timescale will have minimal impact, I know they have already lost business but the whole scheme is designed to massively improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.

“There have been several accidents on that crossing and I think there is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident there so I think the work has been needed and I must admit Transport for Greater Manchester are taking rather long to do it than they thought they would, and my colleague Garry Veevers has approached them to see if there is any compensation for the businesses.”

How TfGM responded to the business’ concerns:

A TfGM spokesperson said: “Work to upgrade the existing crossing to a puffin crossing on Chorley Old Road started in September and forms part of a wider programme of investment to make walking, wheeling and cycle trips easier and safer in the area, especially for shorter journeys.

“Construction of the new crossing and associated work is due to be complete by Friday, 3 November. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to local residents and business owners.”

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.