Frustrated Greerton retailers say they have been left out of pocket by disruptive roadworks - with one business owner saying their revenue has dropped about 80 per cent over the past week.
The Tauranga City Council began construction work on Cameron Rd, to make the area safer for motorists and pedestrians, in March.
The roundabout at Cameron Rd and Chadwick Rd is considered by the council to be the second most dangerous in the city.
The council says it is trying to manage the disruption as best it can, but Greerton retailers say the roadworks are hurting their businesses - especially after workers removed the car parks that lined the eastern side of Cameron Rd last week.
New Hong Kong Restaurant & Takeaways owner Carl Young's response to the roadworks was clear: "It's s***."
Young's revenue had dropped sharply in the past week. He gestured around his restaurant; "It's lunchtime," he said, "I have had one customer. Usually, it's busy."
He could have closed his store for the week given the drop in trade but decided to remain open for his loyal customers, who were also unhappy about the removal of the car parks.
"Look. It's lunchtime. Nobody's here in Greerton. Usually, there are lots of people. But what can we do? I hate it."
At the Mostly $2 Shop, Raghvir Haur said she lost 75 to 80 per cent of business within the past week, and she found it "really, really hard to pay rent".
"The car parks are gone and people don't like to come when it's noisy and dusty."
Colorado Dairy manager Mohammad Zaber said his revenue had dropped 40 per cent within seven days.
The morning Zaber spoke with the Bay of Plenty Times, he was already down the usual $300 he would have made that day. He blamed the roadworks.
"They started last Monday. They said they would close parking for one to one-and-a-half weeks but I don't believe them. Maybe next week.
"I don't know anyone happy about it."
Zaber said he had seen some retailers in tears because of the impact of the road works and questioned why the work couldn't be done at the weekend to limit the effect.
The council expects to complete the roadworks by November.
Tauranga City Council project manager Jenny Hill said the council had been trying to manage the disruption "as best we are able".
But limiting a construction project "as big as this" to weekends was not feasible, would take too long and would be "much more expensive".
"The primary purpose of the work is to create a safer environment for everyone, whether they're walking, biking, on mobility scooters or driving. The end result should encourage more foot traffic for retailers," she said.
"As we've been working through the project, we've needed to close a few car parking spaces at a time to upgrade each area. The section being worked on this week should be finished by this Friday (today), a couple of days later than the retailers were originally told."
When asked whether the council would consider compensation for retail revenue lost, Hill said it did not usually pay compensation during construction work.
The disruption comes as retailers grapple with abusive and aggressive beggars scaring off customers. Retailers this week lobbied the council to adopt a bylaw which includes stricter rules on rough sleepers and beggars.
Construction changes to Greerton Village include:
- Accessibility and safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Removal of merge areas and reduction to single lanes at Cornwall St and Chadwick Rd roundabouts on Cameron Rd.
- A new roundabout at the intersection of Cameron Rd and Pooles Rd.
- Closure of right turn out of Cornwall St roundabout will be undertaken on a trial basis for a four-week period and monitored using cameras. If the trial is successful, the right turn will be removed permanently.
- Construction of a solid median island on Cameron Rd between Cornwall St and Chadwick Rd.
- Construction of a solid median island on Chadwick Rd between Cameron Rd and Greerton Rd.
- Relocation and signalisation of the Cameron Rd pedestrian crossing between Cornwall St and Chadwick Rd.
- Construction of a solid median island on Cameron Road between Chadwick Road and Pooles Road
Source - Tauranga City Council