Traders left counting cost of Bath Road sewer works
TRADERS say the closure of one of Cheltenham's busiest roads will hit them in the pocket to the tune of thousands of pounds.
Bath Road has been closed off near its junction with the High Street as Severn Trent repairs a collapsed sewer.
The work, which has caused traffic chaos as motorists try to find their way round the town's one-way system, is set to last for two weeks.
Jay Rahman, manager of Prithvi restaurant in Bath Road, said he had hardly had a booking since it started.
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"It has been really quiet this week," he said.
"We have got no cars coming past our front door, so we are losing all our passing trade.
"And the car park opposite where a lot of our customers park is completely empty.
"It is going to cost us thousands of pounds if it goes on for two weeks. I'm not happy about it at all."
Traders are doubly angry because the road was shut off over the summer for repairs to a blocked sewer pipe. Don D'Ambrosio, owner of the Carpet Emporium, said: "It's annoying because they closed the road off before and now they are doing it again.
"We've got absolutely no passing trade and it's very difficult for vehicles to get through to make deliveries.
"First of all we thought it was just going to be a couple of days – now we hear it will be two weeks. That will hit us hard."
It is understood work going ahead is to strengthen a sewer, which has collapsed under the weight of heavy traffic.
Staff at Wolfie's sandwich bar, also in Bath Road, said they hoped the loss in passing trade would be worth the trouble.
"It has hit passing trade but hopefully it will be worth it," said manager Emily Sutton.
"We have had problems with our sewerage for the past six years so taking a couple of weeks to fix it is not the end of the world."
Several traders in the road have called for compensation from Severn Trent for their projected loss in earnings.
Bosses at the water company said they would deal with each claim on an individual basis.
A spokeswoman apologised for the inconvenience caused by the work.
Traffic will be diverted either down College Road or along St James's Street while the work is carried out.