Speyside shop forced into weekend closure by roadworks

Clear path through Aberlour is becoming a distant memory.

A SPEYSIDE BUSINESS is being forced to close its doors during what should be the busiest period of the week because of continuing roadworks blocking their shop entrance.

Owners of the Aye Candy sweet shop in Aberlour issued an apology to their customers ahead of the weekend, saying that they were forced to remain closed as customers could not get to the shop.

A resurfacing project has been ongoing for months through the centre of the Aberlour – causing disruption that many business owners say is killing trade completely. When work first started roads agency Bear Scotland promised they would be completed in 12 weeks and would have little effect on the busy summer trade.

In May, Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead attempted to negotiate a solution for the dispute, holding meetings with local business leaders, Bear Scotland and Transport Scotland. However, by June Transport Scotland insisted the £2million improvement work on the A95 would go ahead as planned with it due to be completed by August.

At the time the MSP was told that Bear Scotland would keep residents fully informed of progress throughout the works. Work still continues now, however – with no end in sight until well into the new year, and business owners insisting they are not being kept up to date.

Aye Candy owner Jade Ross said on her shop social media page on Friday: “The roadworks are still completely blocking entrance to our shop and are preventing us from opening.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this is causing. We never anticipated having to be completely closed as we weren’t warned that this may happen. Unfortunately, it means that we won’t be open this weekend. Please watch this space and we will keep you posted on when we can reopen – hopefully it won’t be much longer!”

A spokesman for Bear Scotland insisted that they had continued to engage with local shopkeepers to minimise disruption: “We visited Aye Candy with our contractor on Thursday to discuss the works.

“While we fully understand the concerns as the footway width is limited, we explained that our site operatives will do all they can to maintain pedestrian access throughout this phase of the programme.”