An independent trader has said it is a “kick in the teeth” the county council failed to let her, and others, know huge roadworks would take place outside her business. 

Amanda Bell who runs Rainbow and Spoon Boutique on Park End Street said the sudden appearance of the works has left her feeling “very annoyed and upset”.

On Monday, Ms Bell noticed a tiny part of Frideswide Square was closed off, however she spoke with workers and “at no point did they say they would be cordoning off the whole of the west end of the square”.

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thisisoxfordshire: The businesses were not warned of the roadworks. Picture: Amanda BellThe businesses were not warned of the roadworks. Picture: Amanda Bell

Ms Bell arrived at work this morning (June 22) to find a huge hole had been dug up, with a majority of the pavement outside the square’s businesses blocked off.

The trader told the Oxford Mail that she, and the other businesses, had not been given any notice about the works and what makes it worse is “no one is doing anything” at the site currently.

She explained: “It is just upsetting to be faced with something we do not expect, you can swallow the pill when you are expecting it.”

thisisoxfordshire: Ms Bell arrived at her workplace to find a 'huge hole' had been dug. Picture: Amanda BellMs Bell arrived at her workplace to find a 'huge hole' had been dug. Picture: Amanda Bell

An added annoyance for Ms Bell is the fact the business owners “work hard” to keep the square looking presentable.

“[Oxfordshire County Council] pretend to be behind small businesses but at the same time the lack of information does impact us,” she said.  

An Openreach spokesperson said, “We’re working on a trial excavation for a new manhole which is to be built at Frideswide Square as part of the Oxford Corridor Phase 2 works on behalf of Network Rail. 

"A permit has been granted by Oxfordshire County Council for the work to take place from 17 - 30 June; we apologise for any inconvenience during this time.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing:

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