Hairdressers in a Buckinghamshire town said their business has been negatively impacted by ongoing roadworks.

Staff at Haringtons Hairdressing on Marlow High Street and Dorata Hairdressing on West Street have said ongoing utility roadworks around the town have resulted in a loss in takings over the past year, due to issues with the water supply and lateness and cancellation of appointments by customers struggling to get into the town.

Debbie, who works at Haringtons, said: “I’ve been here since last February and there’s only been a few weeks where I’ve not seen roadworks somewhere. They definitely complicate things."

Michaela, another employee at the High Street shop, added: “We’ve got Cookham Bridge that’s closed at the moment too – that’s also making people late for their appointments. It’s had an effect on everyone, really. Staff as well as customers.

“Other shops won’t be impacted in the same way because they don’t have appointments. It hasn’t hugely affected our takings, but if we’re having to turn appointments away, that's still significant." 

Bucks Free Press:

A third staff member, Robin said: “I know that some people have been avoiding coming into Marlow, especially people of a certain age who are finding it to be too much hassle. I think some people have just found it hard to schedule time because it’s hard to know how much time it’s going to add to their journeys.”

Meanwhile, Andrea, who owns Dorata Hairdressing, said his shop had been told by Thames Water that it would have to close one morning in the summer due to the water supply being turned off, before finding out at the last minute that the works actually wouldn’t be going ahead.

“A day or so before, they came in and told us the works weren’t going to happen anymore, but it was too late and we lost out on a morning of business.”

Bucks Free Press:

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He added: "People have been late too – they say they can’t get into the town, and when they do, they can’t find anywhere to park because there are roadworks here and roadworks there.

“We are always busy but it’s definitely something that upsets people. We constantly hear the frustration from our customers about all the traffic in the town.”

Bucks Free Press:

Speaking in October, Hilary Martin, Town Clerk at Marlow Town Council said councillors were very aware of the impact of continuous roadworks in Marlow and are lobbying Buckinghamshire Council “extensively” about the disruption.

Peter Martin, Buckinghamshire Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for HS2/East Western Rail said the local authority was building a “constructive relationship” with utility companies through communication and inspections of ongoing works.

He added: “Utility firms have a right to access their networks by digging up the roads to carry out necessary repairs, service connections and improvement works. We have limited powers to refuse works, but proactively look to minimise their impact by considering all possible issues, such as another set of roadworks nearby or an impact on a school or hospital before we agree on a works permit.

“However, the companies have the right to respond to emergency situations, which seems to have been the case in Marlow. These works are necessary and can’t be predicted beforehand to avoid further disruption, which causes delays and issues with traffic flow.”