Falkirk Council: Road closure hitting Larbert garden centre business

Roadworks in Larbert are having a devastating impact on a family-run garden centre at what should be its busiest month of the year.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 5:48 pm
Updated Friday, 10th June 2022, 9:55 am

Although Bonnyview Garden Centre on Falkirk Road, Larbert, remains open for business, most customers have been put off by the cones and ‘road closed’ signs that surround it.

Andrew Ross, who owns Bonnyview Garden Centre on Falkirk Road, Larbert, says he was given just 10 days notice by Falkirk Council that the road would close for 19 days for resurfacing work.

And he says the signs do not make it clear that customers can get access to the nursery, garden centre and small caravan site tucked away off the main road.

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Andrew Ross, owner of Bonnyview Garden Centre, says his business has been hit since the roadworks began

Complaining to the council, he was told that the signs say ‘Road Ahead Closed’, which means there is access to business.

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“The signs can say what they like – there’s no-one here!” he said. “If the signage was clearer that would make a big difference.”

“Yesterday, I had five customers all day,” he said, standing in the shop area, which is packed with rows of colourful hanging baskets and planters, but empty of customers.

To his frustration, the work could not have happened at a worse time for the small garden centre, which currently has thousands of colourful hanging baskets, bedding and tubs waiting to be sold.

“If it had been a month earlier or a month later we’d have been okay – and if we’d had more notice that would have helped,” he said.

Andrew, who has a BSc in Horticulture, grows many of his plants himself and makes up the baskets and planters, all of which takes months of planning.

He prides himself on the quality of the plants he sells and the fact that they are grown as kindly to the environment as possible.

Andrew and his family also run a small caravan site beside the nursery and it is only with great difficulty that his customers have made it through the cones and signs to reach the site.

There are traffic marshalls positioned at the start of the roadworks and customers have to tell them that they are visiting Bonnyview to be allowed through.

“Most people just aren’t attempting it,” he said. “It just looks like the road is closed.”

Andrew believes that businesses that will be badly affected by works like this should be given more notice.

“I think it’s probably too late for me – but I don’t want other businesses to have to go through this,” he said.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We appreciate that road closures can be an inconvenience to residents and businesses situated in this area. However. the road is closed for the safety of our operatives, the travelling public and pedestrians.

“While there is a ‘businesses open as usual sign’ in place we have appointed Traffic Marshalls to assist drivers and pedestrians. We will also arrange for a further “businesses open as usual” sign to be erected at the Bellsdyke Road end of Stirling Road to address the concerns raised regarding those drivers coming from the M876.

“We are making good progress with these works and its hoped the road will reopen sooner than originally planned.”