BUSINESS owner Andy Young says the much-delayed £4m Mead Way roadworks are responsible for plunging his successful eight-year business into potential ruin.

The owner of Swindon Electrical Supplies, based in Westmead Industrial Estate, claims that his customer base vanished over time.

And Andy is ‘astonished’ that the council has not done more to support businesses in the area, especially as the project has missed several completion deadlines

“We relied on people travelling along Mead Way in the mornings to come in and get their supplies on the way to their jobs, but that went almost down to zero when the road closed,” said Andy.

“Because of this we’ve lost about 60 per cent of what we were making before the closure.”

Andy is confident the Mead Way closure and not Covid is responsible for the decline, stating that he asked customers he lost why they stopped coming.

“Electricians were still working during the lockdown.

“They were still getting electrical supplies but they were going to different wholesalers.

“I did everything I could to keep them, I’ve spoken to lots of people, sent emails out, but they also said it was too much hassle getting here so I’ve lost those customers now.”

Access to the estate has been retained throughout, but the road closure meant people have to go out of their way to get there.

“Every time they extend the deadline it’s a kick in the teeth. I thought we could suffer for a period of time to an end date but they keep moving it.

“If we’d have known it was going to stay shut for as long as it has we wouldn’t have attempted to stay open. Now we’ve just been digging a deeper hole.

“I’m absolutely astonished that the council hasn’t done something about it, or could not have planned it in a better way.”

Now Andy thinks it’s only a matter of time before he inevitably has to make a tough decision about what to do next.

“Swindon Electrical Supplies is not going to be anymore,” he said.

Labour councillor for Mannington & Western ward, which covers some of Mead Way, Jim Robbins said: “Sadly the long delays and frequent broken commitments on the end date for the Mead Way works are causing real and lasting damage to local businesses.

“I hope that the council can find a way to support Swindon Electrical Supplies as their mismanagement of the roadworks are causing these problems.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We entirely sympathise with Mr Young and with all the businesses who have been affected by the improvement work at Mead Way.

“The delays in the scheme have been extensively reported and, while there are some very good reasons why the work is taking much longer than anticipated, no words in this statement could adequately convey our apologies for the over-run.

“Due to the fact utility companies have so many pipes, cables and ducts to move underneath the road, no amount of extra workers on site could speed up that process as the utilities need to be moved one by one before we can complete the new road.

“We have maintained access for all businesses during the scheme and placed signs on the approach to the area to clearly indicate firms have remained open throughout.

“We are working as hard as we can to get this scheme finished and the final pieces of utility work are under way which means our contractor can begin to lay the carriageway in order to get the road back open by the end of next month.”