Concerned traders in Burnley say a road closure put in place weeks ago is killing their businesses with takings down by up to 30%.
Barriers were put up in Kingsway more than five weeks ago after heavy winds sent slates from the Government-owned former tax office crashing into the road.
The plastic barricades have since been replaced with concrete blocks and the only access to Standish Street is through a diversion along Bank Parade.
But business owners in Standish Street said the closure is having a severe impact on their trade in already difficult market conditions.
Some shopkeepers are reporting that takings are down by almost a third while others said customers are complaining and have been put off by the restricted access.
Charles Payne and Glenn Walker, who own Burnley Home Brew, said they had managed to successfully build up their business after opening in Standish Street two years ago.
But they said the road closure had had a devastating effect with takings on some days just £10.
Mr Walker said: “Last week’s takings were down 30%. We are a relatively new business and our trade was constantly going up until this happened.”
Marie Lord, of Quality Stitches, is the chairman of the Standish Street Traders group. She said: “We’ll still have to pay our business rates even though trade is down. Normally you can’t get a parking space here any day of the week but now there are lots because people just aren’t coming down here. I really worry for the future of our businesses. It’s killing us.”
Shahid Aslam, from clothing shop Moonline, said many of his customers are choosing to go to his other branch in Colne Road because of the closure.
“Takings at the Standish Street shop are down about 20%. People are finding it difficult to get into Standish Street. A customer came in the other day and said they had been stuck for 20 minutes trying to get round the diversion. It all adds up.”
A Burnley Borough Council spokesman said daily efforts were being made by the council to talk to the property management company and get the work progressed. He said work was due to start last weekend: “We can understand traders’ frustration. We have been in contact daily with the property management company to try and get this work progressed so the road can be re-opened.
“We apologise for the inconvenience but we are doing everything we can to get the road re-opened as quickly as possible,
“However, we are in the hands of the building owners and their contractors.”