When pneumatic drills are silent

October 23, 2012

Gas Pipes Need Replacing
East St Helen Street is closed so that the main gas pipes can be replaced. Notices say it will be closed for two weeks.
Gas Pipes Need Replacing
Most of the time, apart from when diggers are moving about, there is room enough to drive a car down there so I am not sure why the road needed to be closed. But it does mean, when pneumatic drills are silent, that you can take a quiet stroll down East St Helen Street in the middle of the road.

Filed under: road works

27 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. BykerRode  |  October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    According to the OCC web site The Wharf is next on the list
    for gas main replacement. Will they close that for two weeks and does that follow on directly from East St Helen Street ?

  • 2. EastStHelenResident  |  October 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Does anyone know what’s happenoing about rubbish collection while the road is closed? I rang the Vale of the White Horse District Council last week to ask, but they didn’t even know the road was being closed! They promised to ring me back but haven’t.

  • 3. shop owner  |  October 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    as a shop owner this is just what we need it is bad enough nobody coming into town because the precinct is a building site now we have roads closing in town . People are not coming into town our shop took £10 in 8 hours today yesterday it did £4 our shop will be closing very soon like the others . Wake up Abingdon and start supporting your shops

  • 4. Bill  |  October 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I think there is a lot of negativity about the precinct, its a year and a bit of pain to get a new modern shopping centre, if people want to use the shops they wont let a minor road being closed stop them. can i ask what your shop sells shop owner?

  • 5. Spike  |  October 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    If its on that street probably Ski gear !

  • 6. Pneumatic component  |  October 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    SO..SO SILENT…

  • 7. Rachel in East St Helen Street  |  October 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    The lack of information on this whole road closure is so total as to challenge the upcoming Police thingumy elections for obscurity. The letter residents received stated that “any disturbance will be minimised”. There was nothing about the road being closed and neither were we given any information on where we’re supposed to park. (Neither is there any information on the Vale website). So far I have persevered in parking at home (I’m lucky enough to have a space behind the house) but it is pretty annoying not knowing whether you can get home each day. A neighbour tells me the Vale are giving out parking permits but how I’m supposed to find this out, or indeed collect one, when I’m at work all day, is a mystery to me.

    The lack of information has meant that some residents are still parking on the street (who can blame them), and to make things worse the workmen have parked up the digger to create a chicane too narrow for the recycling lorry to get through. As I’m up early I shall have the fun of seeing what happens next.

    I notice too that the town council minutes have another “temporary” closure order from the 29th which is expected to last a further four weeks.

  • 8. Janet  |  October 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I have every sympathy for you shop owner I own a shop in West St Helens St and the road closure has effected our trade.Bill this is not a minor road to us its a major one!!!

  • 9. shop owner  |  October 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

    minor problem you must be joking it is hard enough to run a shop with the financial climate like it is and confidence lower than ever and now we have to put up with road works and building works . The empty shops are putting people off shopping in Abingdon the little town have been destroyed because everyone shops at tesco butchers have closed clothes shops toys shops green grocer as you can get it all at tesco . The coffee shops are booming with trade lucky them however this will be short lived when witherspoons come to town and serve coffee for 49p . Another big name to kill the little guys

  • 10. Rachel - the other one  |  October 26, 2012 at 12:26 am

    The precinct is a work in progress and progress doesn’t happen without some change and pain unfortunately.

    Replacing gas mains will improve the safety of the community in the long run

    Shop owner and Janet – have you been out into the town to tell people where you are and what you sell? Is there a business in a more prominent position in town that could be buddied with you to point people to your business?

    I can imagine that it is hugely frustrating sitting in your shop waiting for someone to come in and buy something so perhaps get out into the streets or onto Twitter and start shouting about it! Follow Colin @theabingdontaxi and he’ll tweet about you for sure!

  • 11. Local Lass  |  October 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Rachel – I think you’re not getting the point of what these small businesses are trying to say. Normally they recieve sufficient footfall to sustain their business. But, this temporary disruption, however shortlived it might be is affecting their trade.

    The suggestions you make here are not very practical. I know Janet’s shop and that they get involved in local initiatives such as the ‘local excellence’ schemes in the market place but I imagine it would be counter productive to close the shop whilst they tout for business in town.
    Which of the prominent shops in town do you suggest they buddy with? The ones in the precinct who are currently suffering as badly with footfall? As for Twitter, it takes a good while to build up a local following that would have any impact on business now, these shops issues are immediate. I think the point is, did the gas works have to be done now, with everything else going on in town? And why can’t they just get on with it as quickly as possible? I have seen very little activity in East St Helen Street to suggest that they are going as fast as they can! I too have a shop in West Saint Helen Street and if people can’t drive down East St Helen Street to park in the pay and display then no prospective customers will walk up West Saint Helen Street towards town.

  • 12. shop owner  |  October 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I say we all stand our ground and not pay our rates until all this work has been completed including the shops in the precinct why should we pay rates when the town is failing . We had another bad day yesterday we took £20 all day the rates for the shop are £1200 per month so when you add wages, electric ,rent heating, insurance , etc the shop is making a huge loss and people are on here are stating just put up with it let me prevent you going to work for a few months so you can not go out to earn a wage and see if you would put up with it .

  • 13. shop owner  |  October 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    If you want any evidence of what damage the work is doing look today in west st helens car park it is half empty and also the multistory is the same . We will close before christmas and that will be another empty shop in the town

  • 14. Ybuynu  |  October 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    @ shop owner we agree .We opened in MAY this year and we are on the High Street and we have lived in Abingdon all our lives we love the town and our customers . I have never seen it this quiet i wish we had waited until the building work was complete

  • 15. Rachel - the other one  |  October 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I run a business and I am a member of the Chamber of Commerce and I’ve been talking about shops buddying each other for about a year now as i think this could really help lots of businesses. For example, someone goes into Masons and asks if they have a large frame for cross stitch. They don’t have one in stock so the lady thinks she could build one, Masons recommend F Knight for wood cut to size which stops the lady going to B&Q who were the only DIY company she could think of as they last the nation with advertising on a regular basis.

    What I am saying is that if you can change X (with X being the road closure) then you need to look at possibilities that are not in your usual toolbox.

    What is Janet’s shop? Perhaps I can help her? Who is Shop Owner? Perhaps I can help him/her?

  • 16. Ybuynu  |  October 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    @ Rachel I like your idea but i am sure many of the shop owners do already do that . We have other business cards in our shop from shops and services in the town and welcome anymore .

  • 17. Rachel - the other one  |  October 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    You’d think they would but the conversation I suggested would have ended at B&Q had I not been nosy and jumped in!

    It could be a case of if you like what we have, you’ll like what they have too or if you bought this are you interested in that… because so and so sells those. Proactively supporting a hidden business is something that all shop folk could do for as long as this takes, it’s just a matter of popping into everywhere and letting them know that you are in a pickle.

    If Janet or shop owner were to stand outside Costa or Java one morning I’m sure they’d find people who would like to shop at their establishments but may not have ever ventured down that way. Many of us not on the south side of town never go past the market place unless specifically encouraged to do so.

    And I’ve tweeted that traders down both streets are feeling lonely and that Abingdonians should pay them a visit.

  • 18. Abingdonian  |  October 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Yes I can second the annoyance at the lack of information about this road closure. There was no information for our house (on the mews) until today 5 days after the works began. There was no warning the recycling would not be collected and no mention of it on the vale website.

    Received a letter today from the company stating that they now have parking permits to give out and apologising for the lack of information. Unfortunately there is no information as to how residents can get hold of these permits. The letter also states that the works are expected to last 3 weeks rather than the 2 that it says on the road sign. So all in all rather annoying and mishandled!

  • 19. Kelly Simpson  |  October 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    It must be so hard for many small shops in Abingdon at the moment with all this going on. It is good to see so many activities going on in the market place to try to draw people in.
    Hopefully the the roadworks and precinct will soon be finished. However, I have heard that so far there are no takers for the new precinct shops. I hope I’m wrong – please correct me someone.

  • 20. John  |  October 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I agree with Janet but i do understand its hard for small shops,
    BUT….. there is always more you can do, other then the gym behind stroll in i have never seen any of the shops in town out and about in town, yes the precinct might be in scaffolding but people are not going to find you if you don’t do something productive.
    it’s all very well and good going to the local excellence markets but you need to do more then that.
    I understand it’s very easy to sit in your shop and complain that no one is coming in, but if you look at the successful independents in town, Cafe, Shop or Pub, you will see they have a massive twitter presence (it doesn’t take long to get a following) and they go out there and do something, if i was taking £20 a day, i’d be out there with samples and flyers, putting posters up and generally reminding people who i am and what i do,
    And if after all of that your still doing little trade, then maybe there isn’t a need for what you sell in abingdon

  • 21. John  |  October 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I agree with Janet but i do understand its hard for small shops,
    BUT….. there is always more you can do, other then the gym behind stroll in i have never seen any of the shops out and about in town, yes the precinct might be in scaffolding but people are not going to find you if you don’t do something productive.
    it’s all very well and good going to the local excellence markets but you need to do more then that.
    I understand it’s very easy to sit in your shop and complain that no one is coming in, but if you look at the successful independents in town, Cafe, Shop or Pub, you will see they have a massive twitter presence (it doesn’t take long to get a following) and they go out there and do something, if i was taking £20 a day, i’d be out there with samples and flyers, putting posters up and generally reminding people who i am and what i do,
    And if after all of that your still doing little trade, then maybe there isn’t a need for what you sell in abingdon

  • 22. shop owner  |  October 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

    John you can not force people to buy your items in your shop no matter how many flyers you give out Abingdon is a small town it does not take long for the word to spread about a shop in town . You mentioned pub and cafe are doing well trust me this has nothing to do with twitter , they sell food and drink which always sell you need it . You do not need a gold watch, cocktail dress , toys , hiking boots , table cloth , to survive they are not necessities they are luxuries and trying to sell these in this town at the moment is near on impossible not matter how you advertise . The town is finished there will be no new retailers to fill the new shops except for tesco express they have empty shops in Didcot orchard centre and the footfall there is ten fold to Abingdon .

  • 23. Janet  |  October 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I think you have missed my point all I said is that West St Helens St is a major road for us not a minor one and that with it being closed it has affected our business.I have alot of loyal regular customers.I sell Raffle/Event Tickets for local clubs etc ,our name is on all there posters and people come to us to buy these.All our items we sell leave the shop with a business card attached.We donate raffle prizes to local schools and charities, again with our name mentioned.
    Our shop is first call for people using West St Helens St car park,we have many people asking where they can buy certain things from we always point them in the direction of local independents.Only someone came in yesterday wanting to know where they could get there lap top repaired I told them about the new shop which is opening.PC World was not mentioned!!!!
    I work six days a week some mornings my day starts at 3am,on occasions I have worked through the night to get orders done because we cannot afford to pay staff. So dont tell me I am sitting down all day!!!!Sorry Im not a tweeter maybe I should start!

  • 24. Rachel - the other one  |  October 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Janet

    What is the name of your shop. Are you the florist? You have everyone’s ears here and I’ll tweet about you right now if you share it!

  • 25. shop owner  |  October 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Janet i know the feeling we had four staff now we have 1 (ME ) people are so keen to spend your money advertise more get new products in open longer but when you are not covering wages and rent it becomes pointless after a while .
    We make a fuss of our customers say hello try to remember there name etc for WHAT they will go straight into a big name shop who could not care less about their customers they dont even know you are there until you pay .

  • 26. Janet  |  October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Rachel yes I own The Honey Pot Florist with my daughter Claire.Shop owner I would like to meet you pop in and see us sometimeI understand what you are saying.We had a customer who came into our shop with some half dead flowers they bought from a supermarket and asked me if I could gift wrap them for a wedding!!!!.

  • 27. shop owner  |  November 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    This is really hurting our shop we now refuse to pay our shop rates

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