The Prince Street bridge repairs have taken their toll on Bristol, and particularly on small local businesses.
The repair project on the Prince Street bridge, that started out as a six-month project costing under £500,000, has spiralled out of control, taking nearly two years and costing millions of pounds.
The last we heard from the council was that the bridge will be re-open in May. Well, surprise, surprise, sources on the ground say that it’s going to be at least another couple of months. So, not only do we get to ‘enjoy’ the temporary bridge for most of the summer, but us taxpayers will also continue paying the scaffolding company roughly £1,000 a day for the privilege.
I really don’t want to focus too much on the (in)competency of Bristol City Council, looking into the due diligence of their planning and management of the whole project and how massively they went over time and budget. What’s done is done, and we all know the council couldn’t organise a tea party in a dollhouse.
I don’t even want to really focus on the fact that they are opening the bridge to cars again or that it’s going to only be one way.
The only thing that’s worth discussing is how the bridge repair work has significantly damaged a man’s livelihood.
The Crepe and Coffee Cabin, situated next to (well, under) Prince Street bridge has been operating at a loss for nearly two years due to all of their customer footfall being diverted literally above their heads.
You wouldn’t expect the council to give compensation or help to businesses if there are roadworks on their street for a couple of weeks. However, this hasn’t just lasted a couple of weeks – it is nearly two years, and is far from just roadworks. This small independent coffee cabin has been surrounded by a building site.
The saga of Prince Street bridge has nearly come to an end (we hope!) but this has seriously damaged a small business. The council has done little-to-nothing to support them at all throughout the whole period, so the only question left now is: what is Bristol City Council going to do now to make this right?
Bristol born and bred, Mark has spent a decade in the performance marketing industry, working at Bristol-based Invitation Digital Ltd.
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