HOSPICE chiefs say a major roadworks scheme could cost the charity £5,000 after takings at their flagship store plummeted when a street was closed.
The Hartlepool & District Hospice shop in Raby Road has taken a hit over recent weeks since the erection of temporary traffic lights and the launch of a roadworks to improve traffic flow.
Hartlepool Borough Council, which is carrying out the works, closed Middleton Road and hospice bosses say the charity has lost £1,000, just two weeks into the 10-week scheme.
Work is being carried out to widen the junctions of Hartlepool’s Hart Lane, Raby Road and Middleton Road.
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The first phase, which lasted from April until early August, saw the erection of four-way traffic lights which angered traders in the Raby Road area who said the work was turning away customers in their droves.
The second phase, which has caused the problems at the hospice, started at the end of September.
Council chiefs have asked people to show patience and co-operation while the work is being carried out.
The charity’s senior retail manager Karen Witherley said the shop, which is one of the hospice’s biggest earners, said the latest road closure has seen October’s profits plummet, and to date the shop is already down by £1,000.
Karen said: “There have been roadworks and temporary traffic lights outside of the shop for quite some time now and that affected us a bit.
“Now though, Middleton Road has been closed so it’s very difficult to get to us.
“We are £1,000 down now and we’re only two weeks into the 10-week closure of the road.
“People seem to have stopped donating, or maybe they’re taking items elsewhere, and they’ve stopped coming in their cars to donate larger goods like furniture.”
She said: “It is quite worrying because we’ve got weeks and weeks of this left, and we can’t claim any kind of compensation for the disruption.
“I just want ask people to bide with us and still to donate and for our customers to still come and shop with us.
“We totally understand that the roadworks have to go ahead, but we just want people to be aware and to still donate.”
A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “The whole purpose of this scheme is to improve traffic flow and reduce delays at this very busy junction and since we have switched off the permanent traffic lights at the junction the traffic is moving freely along Raby Road.
“We would once again ask people for their patience and co-operation while the work is being carried out.”
The hospice, which is based in Wells Avenue, in Hartlepool, provides palliative care for people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.
Anyone who would like to donate to the hospice should telephone (01429) 855530.