Fisherton Street: Business owners positive about gateway project

Businesses have voiced their feelings about the year-long roadworks, two months after they began on August 6.

Patrick Wadge is the secretary of the Fisherton Street Traders’ Association, consisting of 35 businesses, and has worked at Chris Wadge Clocks for 28 years.

The business owner said Fisherton Street has been in need of the works for some time because the pavements aren’t wide enough and the area needed “brightening up”.

Salisbury Journal: Patrick Wadge said the works are disruptive but it will be beneficial.Patrick Wadge said the works are disruptive but it will be beneficial. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

The works haven’t made much difference to his trade but he has had to tell to his customers that there are no longer spaces to park.

Mr Wadge said: “It needed to be done at some point and it is being done now and we have to put up with it.”

At a traders’ association meeting on October 3, it was discovered that Salisbury Playhouse had to delay one of its shows by 30 minutes because many guests had not turned up due to traffic on Fisherton Street.

Nigel McNally has owned Baileys Domestic Appliances for 17 years and said Fisherton Gateway will be “wonderful” for Salisbury.

Salisbury Journal: Nigel McNally has seen more customers since the works began.Nigel McNally has seen more customers since the works began. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

Weighing up the money that has been put into the city projects including the River Park and Fisherton Street, Mr McNally said: “I think it’s great that the government is investing money into Salisbury. Other places would have loved this opportunity.”

Mr McNally has seen more footfall since the works began, despite the entrance to his shop being surrounded by barricades.

He added: “As much of an inconvenience as it is, it has not stopped people coming into our shop. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain.

“Embrace the future and know it’s going to be better for everyone once it’s finished.”

Donna Hunter, owner of Hair and Bodyshapers, has been trading in Fisherton Street for 38 years.

Salisbury Journal: Donna Hunter (back middle) thinks the work will look good when it's done.Donna Hunter (back middle) thinks the work will look good when it’s done. (Image: Salisbury Journal)

She praised the brilliance of the construction workers who have been helping her clients get in and out of the shop, adding: “As much as none of us want disruption, it will look really good when it’s done.”

Blue badge parking spaces were available when the works started but they were revoked following a dispute with one of the residents living off Fisherton Street, according to Mrs Hunter.

This has meant some of her clients with limited mobility can no longer visit until the works are complete or the spaces are reinstated.

“There’s no right time to dig up pavements but we applied for this,” Mrs Hunter added.

Wiltshire Councillor Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport, said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused by these improvement works and those at the nearby Salisbury River Park scheme.

“Our contractor has been regularly liaising with all local businesses to keep them up to date on the works and pedestrian access into all businesses has been maintained at all times, with an agent on site to assist with any access or other needs.”

Salisbury Journal | News