Hull businesses complain of traffic chaos ahead of City of Culture year

Queen Victoria Square in Hull being dug up for improvements for the city of Culture. Annie Bailey from Aspecs Opticians.'20th January 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Queen Victoria Square in Hull being dug up for improvements for the city of Culture. Annie Bailey from Aspecs Opticians.'20th January 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

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A cafe owner is having to close for four months because of “poor planning” in a major upgrade of Hull for its City of Culture year.

Neil Egan, who co-owns Simples Cafe in Trinity Square, made the decision after being told they would have to wait until June to get a decent proportion of the square back. It comes as businesses off Queen Victoria Square, which has also been dug up, are urging the council to give the £25m revamp greater urgency, saying it is causing “total chaos.”

Mr Egan said he had been told by a council representative they were 10 weeks behind schedule, adding: “We will still have to pay rent while we are closed even though they have made it impossible for us to trade.” Other traders have complained of large swathes of the city centre being dug up at once. Annie Bailey, from Aspecs Opticians, on Savile Street, said: “You really worry whether you can weather it as a business because footfall is definitely down.”

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager said: “Hull is embarking on its biggest transformation for many years and, with tight timescales to adhere to, some disruption is to be expected.”