BUSINESSES on Fleetwood’s North Albert Street area are breathing a sigh of relief.
The traders are celebrating the removal of barriers near their premises which have devastated their businesses.
Work on the new supertram network has meant the fences at the pavement edge have restricted access for six months and deterred business.
For months many potential customers thought the shops were closed because of all the railings surrounding them.
Now the high barriers have been replaced by low pedestrian ones, but access is now much easier and cars can access the road.
Martin Hull of Pharos News and Booze said: “It’s so much better – we have a flow of traffic and people can park.
“It’s great to see it open up. We can start building on this.
“To be able to park is fantastic.
We can start rebuilding the area and try to regain the trade we have lost although we have some regulars who have stuck by us and without them we would have really struggled so we have to thank them.
“On Lord Street people have said they have not got back all the trade they have lost we will really have to work at it.”
Andrew Battersby, who runs the French nail and beauty salon, said: “It feels great not to be caged in.
“It’s a real relief not to have the barriers up.”
His wife Karen said: “Two months ago I wanted to shut it up and go. We will have to see what happens from now.
“We have to start against from scratch with promotions and advertising.”
Owner of Chequers Cafe Brenda Geddes said: “It’s wonderful – we have just been able to walk across the road.
“It’s going to take a while for my regulars to get to know the road is open.
“At least now we can see light at the end of the tunnel.
“We will have to see how many people we get in at the weekend.”
Steven Bozorth of the Cafe Marina said: “Cleveleys and Blackpool are still being affected but at least it’s coming to and end in Fleetwood.”
One of the hardest hit has been Michelle Kelly at the Tramway Cafe who was in no mood to celebrate with some tramway barriers still on Pharos Street which runs down the side of her premises.
She said: “There is nothing to celebrate.
“It will take a while before people begin to realise the road is open.”