Desperate publicans have spoken of a “nightmare situation” after saying they are losing a massive chunk of trade because of ongoing M40 roadworks.
The couple who run the Malt Shovel, just off junction 12 of the motorway, said they have seen losses of 30 per cent since August, months after the north and southbound exits of the motorway were closed for major maintenance work.
And leaseholders Debi and Richard Morisot say with these figures possibly being even higher, they are living in a nightmare situation. Mrs Morisot, who took over running of the village business in 2000, said it has simply been 10 months of struggles and stress.
She said: “It has killed our business, we have seen a 30 per cent drop in sales since the end of last summer which is massive for a small business like us.
“Before that we were just breaking even, we came through the recession when many public houses went under.
“But as soon as we were out the other side we get this and it is a huge kick in the teeth.
This has killed our business, we have seen a 30 per cent drop in sales since the end of last summerDebi Morisot
“The work could go on until September, it is already delayed and we can get no compensation because of it.”
The £11 million improvements by Warwickshire County Highways started in March and are due for completion this summer.
The desperate couple estimate that up to half of their customers come from the motorway, with the nearby Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin bases also providing a steady source of income.
But Mrs Morisot, who said they are only managing to keep going with help from owners, Enterprise Inns, is even worried about how they may suffer once roadworks are complete.
“We have no way to know how much we are really suffering, it is completely unquantifiable,” she said.
“We have no idea how many drivers try to get to us but find another pub and never come back. Or what this will mean for the future once if people have found somewhere else.
“All we can do is dig our heels in and make economies where we can to help us last as long as we can. It is a nightmare situation and we are not sure we can get through it if it continues.”
Works have already been delayed from an April finish.