BUSINESS HAS SUFFERED: Vicki Fetterplace of Future Real Estate. Thornton business owner Vicki Fetterplace wants compensation for the loss of income suffered because of the construction of the road bridge.

Ms Fetterplace said the clientele at Future Real Estate had significantly diminished since construction began, prompting a clear drop in profits.

And she fears her business will be permanently disadvantaged if the three parking spaces outside the Railway Avenue business are not reinstated.

“The RMS has cut off half of our footpath because the space was needed for the approach to the new bridge and I can’t see how there will be enough room to have cars park out the front,” she said. “It’s not only me that’s affected, it’s the three businesses here and [the parking spaces in front of the building are] terribly important so customers can park out the front and have a look at our window.

“Customers are not going to park around the back and then walk around to the front of the shop – it’s too much effort.”

Ms Fetterplace has received letters from potential clients who have cited the lack of parking as the reason they took their business elsewhere.

She said people felt their property would not have a good chance of being sold if potential buyers could not easily park and see what was for sale.

An RMS spokeswoman said the organisation did not usually compensate business owners for loss of income.

She said parking would be available outside the businesses at the completion of the project, which was on track to finish later this year.

“Continued access has been provided to all properties throughout construction,” she said. “Parking in this area was temporarily removed on July 10 as part of a traffic switch, and is anticipated to be reinstated in three to four weeks.

“RMS has been consulting adjoining property owners throughout the construction period through letterbox drops and through meetings for which minutes are kept.”

The spokeswoman said RMS met with Ms Fetterplace and the two other business owners in the complex on June 26, where the project progress and the recent traffic switch were discussed.

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