TRADERS have slammed repeated reports of heavy traffic congestion in Crewe, claiming their businesses are suffering as a result.
Shop owners along Nantwich Road have said it is time to stop knocking the improvements which saw the route restricted by roadworks for much of last year. They claim traffic problems have been wildly exaggerated since the road became a 20mph zone, and are fed-up with shoppers avoiding the area because of the negative publicity.
David Williams, who owns bike shop J E Williams & Son on nearby Edleston Road, said: 'Business last year was the worst we have ever had. It could be put down to a number of factors, but I know the roadworks definitely had an effect.
'But when you think back, traffic is much better now than it was. I regularly drive through between 9am and 10am and it is more often than not completely clear.
'I just think it is time we started encouraging people back. If all you ever hear about is traffic problems, you'll go to The Potteries to do your shopping instead, and that does nothing for the town.'
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council leader Peter Kent backed Mr Williams' call after talking the problem over with him. He said: 'We all know the new traffic system isn't perfect and needs time to settle down. There are still not enough vehicles using the bypass which should do. It would be better to wait before we air our grievances until people have got used to the system and we have some objective evidence to show whether or not it has worked.'
The £2m revamp, part-funded by the Government, saw a range of traffic-calming measures introduced to Crewe's busiest route, along with parking bays and cycle paths. New lighting and CCTV cameras were also installed to improve night-time security in the town's bustling bar district.