BUSINESSES are struggling to balance their books because of ongoing roadworks deterring trade.
Owners of small businesses along Newbold Road, Chesterfield, have seen their takings slashed by up to 90% after months of work by Severn Trent Water.
The work - which has been going on since May - is to replace pipes under the road, and has caused traffic hold-ups and reduced parking for potential customers.
Julie Harris, owner of the animal charity shop, Fair (not fur) Traders, said her turnover has dropped significantly since the work began.
She has joined other business owners in putting up protest banners on the roadworks.
Julie said: “I appreciate the work needs to be done, but every time we ask how long they are going to be, it’s always ‘a couple of weeks’, That was eight weeks ago.
“All we ask is that they finish what they have started instead of digging a hole, fencing it off and then disappearing for a couple of days.”
Louise Sargeant, the owner of Chester’s Cafe has also seen less customers. She said: “People aren’t going to come and wait in the traffic here if they can’t even park at the end of it. They are going to go somewhere else.”
A spokesperson for Severn Trent, said: “The pipe work around this area was in desperate need of replacing and short term problems will resolve ongoing disruption caused by continuous leaks.
“All we can do is ask for patience and understanding in the matter and assure everyone that in conjunction with the Highways Agency we are doing all we can to reduce disruption while the work goes ahead.
“Severn Trent’s £2.5 million renewal project across Chesterfield is scheduled for completion in March 2012.”