A CAFE owner has accused council chiefs of failing to give proper notice about major roadworks taking place in Garelochhead.

And a local councillor has claimed that even he was only told about the works on the day they began.

Fergus Madigan, owner of the Perch Café in the village, closed his premises for the day on Tuesday due to the roadworks which meant people were unable to park on the B872 outside his premises. It was then closed again yesterday (Wednesday).

Mr Madigan spoke to the Advertiser before Argyll and Bute Council announced that the B872 through the village would be completely shut between 8am and 4pm for three days – Thursday and Friday of this week, and Monday, July 8.

He said: “I found out on Saturday morning – I got a letter at work saying there was a commencement of resurfacing for four weeks and there will be no parking.

“The letter was non-specific about the distance of the parking restriction.

“Obviously I couldn’t speak to anybody until Monday, but when I got to work on Monday morning there were guys putting cones on the road.

“I’m almost 90 per cent reliant on people being able to park. There is no off-street parking.

“I understand that work has to be done but I am astounded that I was only given a weekend’s notice.

“If I’d been told a few weeks before, I could have had some essential work done to the café, or taken a holiday.

“Instead we could take a hell of an economic hit.

“I am able to open, and it would be my choice whether to close. People can still walk down after parking in other areas, but some are a bit less mobile.

“If we are sitting there, just myself and the staff, I dread to think of the hit we will take.

“One of my staff is saving to go to university and I had to say on Tuesday that there was no work to be done.”

Meanwhile, Lomond North councillor George Freeman, who lives in Garelochhead, told the Advertiser that the late notice had also taken him by surprise.

He said: “I was only given the same notice. Nobody on the council told me when it was due to start. I only found out on Monday, and that was via an email from another councillor.

“Unfortunately councillors are not allowed to be involved in operational matters.

“The code of conduct is quite clear and it would not be the first time a councillor has been reported to the Standards Commission for a breach.

“The problem is that we get complaints about potholes and roads needing resurfaced.

“People complain about the disruption but I would have hoped that the businesses affected would be given more warning. I am disappointed that they were not.

“The major drainage works have been carried out. Before the start of the financial year I asked officers to ensure the drainage works were carried out on the road.

“That is why the work is welcome but I certainly had no more notice than anybody else.

“I have received no complaints. In effect I have had requests in the last few weeks for double yellow lines on the B872 to stop parking, but I am sure that would not go down well with the businesses in the village.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We apologise for any short-term inconvenience caused by these works.

“However the project will greatly improve the road surface for the longer-term benefit of residents, businesses and visitors to Garelochhead.

“The wider work in the village will take around four weeks, with this particular location due to be completed in 10 days.”