Leeds business owners describe Headrow construction as “necessity” that will “improve the area” despite the initial effect on business.
Many of the most-used roads in Leeds City Centre are currently under massive repair or renovations work. Despite long delays and disruptions, some suggest the construction will lead to more foot-traffic for businesses.
Muhammad Ammeer, the proprietor of Ryan’s convenience store said this of the renovations: “There’s nothing really we can do about it.
“The work on the pipe, it’s a necessity really, and the rest of the work, it’ll improve the area, you understand?”
He added: “Passing trade is a bit affected, but if you look at the small picture, yeah, you get angry.
“But if you look at over five years it will be nice. Well-lit, new pavements and everything.”
Malik Ehtisham Al-Haq, who has been a driver for Uber for three years, said the roadworks are increasing costs, both for his business and for customers.
“It costs me money, it costs you money,” he said.
“The only person it doesn’t cost money is the guy selling petrol. Then the council makes money from him paying tax.”
“The price of getting an Uber has gone up, but mostly because I have to drive all around the city to get around the roadworks.”
He added: “There are always roadworks going on. Always! And they say that they’ll be done by a certain time and they’re not. When they do eventually go, more come up somewhere else”.
It’s not just drivers being affected, many local businesses have also been hurt by the construction.
The employees of local comic book shop, Forbidden Planet, who have chosen not be named claim the construction has had a direct impact on foot-traffic.
“We have seen a drop in footfall coming up to Christmas.”
The roadworks on the Headrow and surrounding roads are said to be completed as late as October 2020, or September 2021 in some cases, according to Leeds City Council.