A garden centre owner says the so-called hamburger roundabout has ‘destroyed’ his life as he prepares to close the business and sell the family home to pay off debts.
Keith Goodall says Roots ’n’ Shoots by Sainsbury’s roundabout in Boughton will most likely close on New Year’s Eve after nearly 10 years in business – leaving him, his wife Linda and son Ashley without a livelihood.
Mr Goodall, a grandfather from Bunbury, says the business has never recovered from the work to reconfigure the junction over several months when customers stayed away and he lost £120,000.
The roundabout was changed to cope with traffic generated by new housing at Saighton camp but he agrees with locals that it has made matters worse leading people to avoid the area if possible.
Mr Goodall said: “It’s destroyed my life. I have worked my guts out seven days a week all my life. I have had to cash in endowments and everything to keep the door open and that’s what I have got for my whack – nothing, absolutely nothing.”
Mr Goodall, who says his wife Linda also feels ‘very bitter’, added: “I’ve got to put my house up for sale. It’s a nightmare, an absolute nightmare. The only thing we can do is work our way out of it.”
The Goodalls, who are being sued for £80,000 by their landlord for rent arrears, are preparing to launch a closing down sale to pay off creditors and they hope trade will pick up soon.
“We’ve taken £174 today and I’ve got £250,000 worth of stock,” said Mr Goodall.
“There was a lady customer from Westminster Park. We’ve not even seen her this year. She’s not even come in for her hanging baskets.”
Mr Goodall, who has written to Prime Minister David Cameron about his predicament, feels let down by politicians, the council and the housing developers.
Speaking about the developers, he said: “The board of directors thought they had done enough by supplying an extra sign!”
Mr Goodall says the roundabout is not working, as evidenced last Friday when traffic backed up on the A41 beyond the Black Dog pub at Waverton.
He also believes it is unsafe after witnessing several incidents where confused motorists have taken a wrong turning and driven against the flow of traffic. This is contrary to the professional opinion of highway officers.
A spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council has previously said the authority was happy that extensive highway tests had been carried out and believed the roundabout to be safe.
But Mr Goodall responded: “How people can honestly turn around and say it is functioning properly is an absolute joke. I have seen some horrendous things go on there.”