Discussions are underway to compensate North Bay businesses which could suffer as a result of excavation works during the summer season.
Yorkshire Water is planning to tear up the road network and dig a trench on the beach at Peasholm Gap from June to October - a longer period than planned.
As a result, traders fear they will be forced to put up with major disruption at the busiest time of the year.
Yorkshire Water’s community engagement officer Claire Glavina said: “We have got a well-established compensation process that we have in place for all schemes across Yorkshire that have an impact on someone’s business. Our team has been meeting with traders at Peasholm Gap to explain what the process is so they are aware of what information to provide us with. We will assess to what extent their business will be affected and we can make valuations to them if there is evidence there. We are absolutely there to support traders through our work.”
However, Miss Glavina said compensation was a last resort and a series of measures would be taken first in an attempt to minimise the impact.
“This can be done through design. For example at the moment we have put images of businesses up on the hoardings at Peasholm Gap so as people drive past they can see them,” she said.
“When we do the next stage of work there is a few things that we might be able to do to help make it really clear that businesses are still open. We have had a few discussions with them about that .”
Miss Glavina stressed that North Bay was “by no means” closed this summer.
“The vast majority of parking will be fully available and buses will still be going down there. The beach will still be open and businesses will still be very much open,” she said.
“Yes we are working in the area, yes there will be construction activity and there could be a bit of disruption, but we still want people to come to the North Bay, as do the traders. They can still enjoy it, we will just be there as well.”
The work at Peasholm Gap is part of Yorkshire Water’s £50 million “Coast to Boast” scheme in the town, which needs to be completed by April 2014 to meet tough new European standards on bathing water quality.
It will see the company dig up the road to install new sewers and the result means it can put it back whichever way Scarborough Council wants. As such, consultants have drawn up bold plans to demolish the busy mini-roundabout below The Sands, currently used as a terminus by the seafront bus service, and instead pedestrianise much of the area. This would create a “blank canvas” which could potentially be used for displays of public art.
The plans were unveiled to the public last week, however Yorkshire Water project manager Ben Shearer admitted reactions had been mixed, with concerns raised over traffic issues including buses being able to turn.
“We’ve got some work to do with the new proposal. We will be liaising with the council on the feedback we have received. It was seen as a positive thing. If it’s not wanted by residents and traders, then we’re happy to put it back as it was. We welcome any further comments,” he said.
One-way system until Easter
The work at Peasholm Gap is a crucial part of Yorkshire Water’s £50 million bathing water improvement scheme in Scarborough.
As part of the project, a 70m long and 3m wide trench will be dug on the beach in front of the slipway.
The mini-roundabout in front of The Sands complex will also be dug up so a new sewage pipe can be installed.
Next week the company is planning to put a south-to-north one-way system in place until Easter.
Businesses will be open as usual and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout. Temporary bus stops, which have been agreed with EYMS and Shoreline Suncruiser, will also be put in place.
Yorkshire Water’s community engagement officer Claire Glavina said: “We wouldn’t achieve the benefits of the whole scheme if we didn’t do the work at Peasholm Gap. It is essential.”
Visit www.yorkshirewater.com/scarborough for further updates.