ANGRY traders say they have lost thousands of pounds in passing trade after council bosses closed a section of road following a huge fire almost a month ago.
They have accused the authorities of hanging them out to dry following the blaze, at a building in Temple Street, at its junction with Plumbe Street on Wednesday, March 21st.
Since then Plumbe Street has been closed from its junction with Yorkshire Street to the junction with Ash Street.
Business owners located in Temple Street and the closed section of Plumbe Street said they are losing custom every day because drivers have to use an alternative route, have nowhere to park and believe the shops are closed.
They claim Burnley Council, which ordered the road closure on safety grounds, should be acting more quickly to work with the owners of the building to make it structurally sound and re-open the route.
Burnley Council bosses said they are working with the owners and added they would take legal action if they fail to comply.
But traders fear the process could drag on even longer, dealing their businesses another blow.
Mr Eric Marshall, who has owned New Way Dry Cleaners and the neighbouring launderette, in Temple Street for 35 years said, on one day last week, his takings were just £6.40.
“In these difficult times, the council should be helping local businesses,” he said.
Mr Mark O’Hara, who owns Turf Moor Garage, said he had been forced to lay off a mechanic because of a lack of work, which he believes has been caused by the road closure.
“It’s a joke and we have had enough. This situation is killing everybody.”
Mr Bruno Beneduce, owner of the Dolphin Sandwich Shop, in nearby Oxford Road, added: “Around 50% of my trade is passing trade. I’ve got overheads to pay. We’ve just been left in the lurch.”
Burnley Miners’ Social Club, in Plumbe Street, has also lost out on business, particularly when the Clarets are playing at home. Steward Mr Melvin Farley said: “Football days are our busiest time but nobody’s coming in.”
RDA Trading, in Plumbe Street, said it, too, had been affected. Traders said the closure is causing traffic chaos with motorists travelling along Oxford Road to Temple Street to get onto Plumbe Street being forced to turn back and, in some cases, driving the wrong way down Temple Street, ignoring a no entry sign.
A spokesman for Pennine Lancashire Building Control Service, on behalf of Burnley Council, said: “We are working with the owners of the damaged buildings in Plumbe Street to ensure the affected building structure is safely secured to enable the road to be reopened. If the owners do not comply with our requirements in the prescribed amount of time, legal action will be taken in due course.”