The owner of a home and garden store which has been serving the community for 65 years – including through the Coronavirus pandemic – has been left feeling ‘frustrated’ by roadworks which he says are leading to a lack of footfall and as a result a loss of business.

Leon Turton, 65, is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact works on Chorley Old Road and Marcus Street are having on customers accessing his shop, The Woodbar Home and Garden.

He says the shop is currently the ‘quietest’ he has ever seen it.

Leon said his business has been impacted over the course of nine weeks firstly  due to a fire close-by so the building had to be checked before the business could reopen -  and now because of the roadworks, which he says are having a massive impact on his shop.

The owner from Smithills said: “We had the fire first next door and then two weeks later these roadworks happened, and we knew it was going to happen, but it has been rubbish.

“Workers outside stopped two of my employees and told them they had to walk right to the top of the roadworks and come round and go through the backstreet.

“They had barriers right on the front of the shop and the only access was down the street, no one could access from the sides and still can’t because of the works on Marcus Street.

"The back streets have been blocked as well as Captains Clough Road with vans, so no one could access our shop when works first began and they are still finding it hard to access it because of the works.

“There is no passing trade because there is no parking, they have to park way up the street.

“There is nowhere to park, there is noise and people think we are shut.

“It is making me feel like rubbish, you just feel depressed and don’t want to be bothered because every day it is a struggle to get near the premises.

“We get a lot of elderly customers as well who are struggling to come in because they can’t walk big distances.

“We are losing money, we have had about seven weeks of the roadworks and then two weeks of when the fire happened, so we have had nine weeks of this, and it is still not finished.

“They said six weeks originally, and works are still ongoing.”

Leon said he contacted Bolton Council and Transport for Greater Manchester but felt like he was going round in circles with no one helping him.

He said: “We are disgruntled, I have sent emails off to Bolton Council but was passed onto someone else.

“I contacted Transport for Greater Manchester but didn’t get far and I’ve just been going back and forth with them both.

“I am fearing for the future of the business, we have been here 65 years, same age as me, and are people going to come back if they can find somewhere else to go where they can park?

“It has caused disruption all around the area and the works are not going to help the road, they have narrowed it, two buses won’t be able to get through at the same time, it will cause congestion.

“My dad is 92 years old, and I bought the premises off him when I was 60.

“And this is the quietest we have seen it, you just can’t park.

“We were open right through the pandemic and had queues outside and now we have had a lack of trade due to the roadworks and lack of parking and there has been so much disruption.

“We are still open and want our customers to know we are here.

“It has just been a nightmare.”

Works have been ongoing in the area by TfGM on Chorley Old Road and Marcus Street.

This is the second business to share their concerns over the roadworks in the area – just last week Barrons of Beef shared how they feared for the future of their business as they were losing thousands of pounds.

A TfGM spokesperson previously responded to Barron’s of Beef stating: “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.”