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Firms want help for A426 closure

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Firms affected by the six-week closure of one of the city's busiest roads are being urged to apply for business rates relief.

Leicester City Council intends to shut the A426 Lutterworth Road from July 12 between Soar Valley Way and Middleton Street, in Aylestone, so a bus lane can be installed.

Highways officials have warned of major disruption for motorists, who will be diverted away from the area.

The work is part of a controversial £5 million scheme to ease congestion on the road.

Shops and businesses have been warned the roadworks could have a severe impact on their trade.

Some have requested financial compensation from the council, but city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the authority did not have the power to give it.

He said there was the possibility businesses could apply for a temporary reduction in business rates.

Sir Peter, the city's transport spokesman, said: "If they can prove their businesses have been affected, they could qualify. There will inevitably be some disruption because the scale of the work is extensive."

The mayor said a contra-flow system had been considered but discounted, as it would have taken a longer period of time to complete the project.

He said work had been scheduled for the summer holidays to try to reduce disruption.

Aylestone city councillor Adam Clarke said: "I would urge businesses, in these tough financial times, to get advice on whether they qualify for rate relief. It won't be mega-bucks but I hope it will be of some help to businesses.

"It's important to recognise that while the bus corridor works will cause unwelcome disruption, once complete I am confident we will see real improvement."

Andreas Ioannu, who has run The Ocean chip shop on Lutterworth Road for eight years, said: "To close the road for six weeks will be unbearable.

"People will avoid the area altogether and our trade will be very badly hit.

"Rate relief is something because every little bit helps, but it won't balance what we lose."

Businesses interested in seeking rate relief should apply to The Valuation Officer, Enkalon House, 92 Regent Street, Leicester, LE1 7DD, or call 03000 501501.

Firms want help for A426 closure


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