Jay is driven off the rails

Date published: 25 July 2011

A BEAUTY therapist brought roadworks to a halt by dumping her sports car in the middle of the road in protest at the damage being done to her business.

Workers resurfacing the road were halted in their tracks and pedestrians were left stunned when Jay Fletcher parked in the middle of Beal Lane and refused to budge.

She claims her business is “barely surviving” due to Metrolink work.

Jay (48), who owns Nouvion Nail and Beauty Salon, said: “I guess I couldn’t take it anymore and I was at the end of my tether.

“I have had clients who have had to park nowhere near the salon, including a heavily pregnant woman, because they cannot gain access.

“I had nine members of staff working here two years ago, and now only me and a trainee are left.

“It’s been a nightmare for the past 18 months and it is bringing my business to its knees.”

Jay, who lives in Rochdale, took her dramatic action after she asked to see the person in charge of the resurfacing work. When anyone failed to show, she then went into action.

Police were called and eventually moved Jay’s car to the side of the road.

Oldham Council was doing the resurfacing work and said Jay’s protest, on Thursday lunchtime, caused a two-hour delay. Beal Lane had been closed since last Monday to allow tram tracks to be laid across the former railway level crossing.

David Marsh (54), who owns Kenmow Lawnmowers, close to Nouvion, praised his fellow trader.

He said: “She stood up for herself, because businesses here are struggling. I am not getting any trade whatsoever, because vehicles cannot get down the road.

“The workers could not believe it when it happened and some pedestrians thought it was hilarious.”

A new signalised road junction to manage the crossing is being built on Beal Lane, close to the future Shaw and Crompton Metrolink stop which is due to open next year.

While the temporary road closure is in place, a diversion route has been signposted along Grains Road, Hillside Avenue, Buckstones Road, Milnrow Road, Crompton Way and Rochdale Road.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink director, Philip Purdy, said: “We appreciate construction of a new tram line will cause some disruption and we work to minimise that where possible. We endeavour to keep local businesses informed of forthcoming work and, as we are keen to remain good neighbours throughout construction of the new Metrolink lines, to meet businesses and residents face-to-face to discuss work.

Track laying at Beal Lane is an essential stage in bringing Metrolink to Shaw and Crompton and we’re confident the short-term impact will be balanced by the benefits of a frequent, high quality tram service.”