TRADERS hope their town will bounce back to be a thriving shopping area after what they say has been a “tough time with significant losses” and businesses closing down due to work on the waterfront.
Rhos on Sea businesses say they have lost out on trade due to road closures and that 10 businesses have folded during the year-long work on Conwy Borough Council’s Phase II section of the Colwyn Bay Waterfront project.
Now the council has announced the area is to be re-opened in sections, with the western end, adjacent to the Cayley Embankment, to open from July 28 and the highway and promenade area between the Pier and Marine Road, on August 12 - three weeks later than scheduled.
Chair of the Rhos on Sea Traders’ Association (ROSTA) Maggie Bradley said: “Traders in Rhos have had a tough time since the closure of the Promenade over the past year with significant losses.
At least 10 businesses closed over the last year. We welcome the improvements to the promenade and sea defences, but it has made life tough for all the businesses, many reporting to ROSTA that trade was down between 25% and 50% since August 2016 but we are bouncing back.
”We are excited at the prospect of the re-opening, we hope it will boost the local economy, especially, with better access from the beach to the shops.
”But businesses are still disappointed that the opening has been delayed. The earlier opening date would have given them the chance to pull back some much need peak season trade.”
She added that ROSTA also hopde the council would revisit its decisions on parking charges on the promenade. and that ”charges would repel the very visitors we seek to attract again, and the parking displacement caused by charges and extra double yellow lines will have a big impact on residents,”
Vice Chair of ROSTA Kathryn Robinson said: “The traders are very relieved that after many delays the re-opening of the prom is imminent.
“We look forward to seeing the finished works that have caused much worry to some businesses.
”Road closure did cause some businesses to cease trading but with Rhos being such a unique place, a range of exciting new businesses have since opened, keeping Rhos as vibrant as always, providing an enjoyable retail and leisure experience for everyone.”
According to the council, the work has transformed approximately one kilometre of promenade.
Work included raising sections of the promenade and highway to increase resilience to flooding; widening the promenade; construction of a beach access ramp; refurbishment of toilets and replacement of hand railings, street lighting and furniture.
The statement said: “Ground conditions encountered on this part of the site have delayed the laying of the new highway surface along this section of promenade.”