Small firms crippled by road closures and extra cycle lanes imposed during lockdown

SMALL firms are being crippled by “madcap” road closures and extra cycle lanes imposed during lockdown, a poll reveals.

They claim traffic jams are forcing them to spend longer in their vehicles – robbing them of money-making time and racking up higher fuel bills.

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Four in ten businesses say they will have to increase prices as a result and one in ten fear they will be forced to close.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay has raised the issue with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, urging him to give motorists a break.

Major towns and cities have used the Covid crisis to encourage people out of their cars to get fit, lose weight and protect themselves against the virus.

Many are in line for government funding to install “green” measures under the Emergency Active Travel Scheme.

But 67 per cent of small businesses say they have had a row with cyclists since the extra lanes were installed, according to a survey by FairFuel UK.

Some 61 per cent are working longer hours, 44 per cent say they will have to increase prices and 12 per cent believe they will be forced out of business by road blocking policies.

Mr Mackinlay said: “My latest email inbox filler is from businesses and residents rightly up in arms about madcap trial closures.

“These schemes, which have sprung up across the country, have been implemented without consultation and, it would seem, without an ounce of common sense as to how these daft schemes will impact trade, the normal lives of local people or traffic flows.

“Traffic jams and use of rat-runs adds to town centre pollution and fuel use and adds to pressures on local businesses at what is already an extremely difficult time for them.”

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