Milton Keynes town still suffering from fire that destroyed street
Traders say they are still suffering from the aftermath of a fire that destroyed a chunk of their town's history exactly a year ago.
Two listed buildings were gutted in the infamous Stony Stratford blaze, leaving a scene that resembled a wartime bomb site.
Both buildings, one a private house and the other a shop, were later bulldozed to the ground and hidden behind a wooden hoarding.
It is this hoarding, as well as the “ugly” orange safety barriers alongside it, that is making the north of Stony High Street a place for pedestrians to avoid, complain traders.
“The problem is that the hoarding covers the entire the pavement, so people have to walk in the road itself,” said David Aspinall, who runs a sweet and card shop further up High Street.
“The council has tried to create a pavement area with a row of plastic barriers. But these are constantly being knocked over by cars and there have been multiple near- miss accidents,” he said.
As a result, shoppers avoid the potential danger and cross the road rather than pass the fire site.
“This means our passing trade has decreased significantly. My takings have been down by 25 per cent since the hoarding was put up,” said Mr Aspinall.
He is urging the council to move the hoarding back by a metre or so to enable the pavement to be used.
“The work hasn’t even started yet to rebuild the properties. We could be like this for many months,” he said.
But MK Council insists the hoarding must stay where it is for safety reasons.