‘Revenue hit’ from roadworks

Frustrated by a lack of consultation on roadworks outside businesses in Prince Albert Rd, St Kilda are (from left) Body owner Jemma Stewart, Black and Brew associate Hadley Donaldson and owner Sophie Sullivan, and RocknRosie owner Charlotte Robertson. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

“Frustrated” small-business owners in St Kilda have been taking a financial hit since roadworks began outside their shops, raising questions about a lack of consultation by the Dunedin City Council.

The resealing of a section of Prince Albert Rd, between Oxford and Richardson Sts, began on February 12.

Black and Brew owner Sophie Sullivan said business had been slow since the work began and she had taken a “revenue hit” of up to 40%.

“This place is usually humming.”

Contractors had placed road cones to stop car parks outside her business being used, she said.

Her cafe was busiest in the morning.

The car parks were important to her business, as many customers were in a rush, on morning school runs or on their way to work.

Consequently, Miss Sullivan’s time-poor customers were going elsewhere for coffee, she said.

The car parks were blocked at all hours, despite contractors not starting work until about noon some days.

“It’s frustrating.”

The negative impact on her business could be reduced if the car parks could be used in the morning, she said.

She questioned the scheduling of the work, as February was one of the busiest times of the year for businesses in the area and it would have been better to do it at a quieter time.

Miss Sullivan’s partner, Hadley Donaldson, said the lack of consultation from the council about the work was “frustrating”.

Body owner Jemma Stewart said heavy machinery hampered her ability to give a customer a relaxing massage in her beauty salon.

“Doing a massage now just doesn’t work,” Miss Stewart said.

RocknRosie owner Charlotte Robertson said the only notification of the work she got at her floristry business was a letter from the contractor last week.

The letter failed to address potential impacts such as noise, access and pollution.

“There’s been nothing but dust and fumes.”

The contractors treated the businesses like “we don’t even exist”.

“It’s been a real nightmare.”

On Valentine’s Day, contractors parked heavy machinery outside her shop.

Valentine’s Day should be her busiest day of the year, Mrs Robertson said.

“You couldn’t see my shop .. I had no walk-in business whatsoever.”

Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson said the council restricted cars from parking along the road as they could disturb the resurfacing work.

“For some sites, existing road markings have been removed and therefore parking is removed to ensure the safety of motorists.”

Resealing outside schools was prioritised in January to avoid disruption to school pupils and parents.

“February was the next available time for this resealing, which needs to be carried out in the summer.”

The contractor notified people affected by the work by letter, which included contact numbers, and “face-to-face” contact before the work began, she said.

“Our contractor is required to ensure any disruption to those affected is minimised.”