A 40-YEAR-OLD Barry-based visitor attraction has expressed fears that it may be forced to close as roadworks continue to deter people.

The Welsh Hawking Centre, Barry's Five Mile Lane (the A4226) says business has halved since contractors moved in.

But the Vale council said the roadworks will improve journeys and offer better access to Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone.

But speaking to the Barry and District News today (Friday, May 31) centre manager Jamie Munro said it had impacted on the business where birds of prey are bread and are on daily display to the public.

Mr Munro said: “It’s not going particularly great.

“I’ve got one car in the car park and this is half-term.

“Visitor numbers are down by 50 per cent on last year.

“We usually have 100 to 150 a day in half-term.

”For 12 weeks the road was closed at our end.

“The figures don’t lie.”

Mr Munro said, as well as deterring visitors, the roadworks had affected the raptors' breeding season which runs from late February to the first week of June.

“At the peak of breeding season, the start of April, the contractors turned up, he said. “The contractors have been saying sorry to me, but it’s not their fault.

“The work has to be done, but the disturbance has cost us up to £75,000.”

Vale council cabinet member for neighbourhood services and transport, Cllr Peter King said: “The Five Mile Lane improvement project will deliver faster journey times and a safer, more reliable route, offering better access to Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone, which in turn should encourage economic investment in the area.

“We appreciate the associated construction works have caused some disruption to motorists and businesses and we ask them for their continued patience.

“We are now entering the final stage of works and hope the road will open in late summer.

“The council’s contractor for this project has employed a dedicated liaison officer to manage, advise and assist local businesses and residents immediately affected by works relating to this project.

“The liaison officer has maintained regular contact with all businesses effected by the project from its inception in January 2018 and made eight visits to the Welsh Hawking Centre from April 1 this year.

“The contractor has managed works in the vicinity of the Hawking Centre to reduce noise and disturbance at all times and the contractor’s liaison officer will continue to work with the Hawking Centre to assist with specific concerns for the remainder of the contract.”

Cllr King added that the contractor has also undertaken drop-in sessions on the first Wednesday of each month between 2pm and 4pm for the public to learn more about the project.

The Welsh Hawking Centre, Weycock Road, Barry, is open to the public from 10.30am to 5pm; Wednesday to Monday.