PENARTH traders have expressed their frustration after 12 weeks of roadworks began in the town centre.
Local businesses described the work as an inconvenience and said that their businesses had been badly affected since work started on Sunday, June 23.
A spokesperson for Wales and West Utilities (WWU), who are carrying out the work, said that the gas company had consulted with the local authority, Penarth Town Council, Cardiff Bus and other key stakeholders before work began.
Wales and West Utilities added in a statement: “After this consultation, we delayed the start of work to June 24 in order to accommodate events on Armed Forces Day. We have also agreed with the Town Council that where possible, working areas will be closed to accommodate future community events.
"To minimise inconvenience, where possible, we are trying to complete the work through pipe insertion that does not require trenching work. We will continue to keep local businesses and residents fully informed of the plans and regret any inconvenience that this vitally important scheme may cause."
Despite the diversions and efforts to minimise disruption, Jane Patzika, manager of WH Smith on Windsor Road, said that the roadworks had already affected business. "It's dreadful and has been so quiet," she said. "There is not as much foot fall in the town centre that there usually is."
She added: "Parking in Penarth is a nightmare and this has exacerbated the situation.
"We also have all the summer holidays coming up and it’s probably one of the worst times to do it."
Pauline Masters, shop manager at the PDSA charity shop, said that they had also suffered a dip in trade. "We have noticed a drop in the amount of people in the shop," she said. "We are taking note of how much we are going to lose over 12 weeks and we are going to complain to the council.
"We will try and get compensation."
Jane Matthews, shop manager at the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity shop on Windsor Road, added: "It's an inconvenience for people bringing in heavy boxes of donations." Bar 44, Windsor Bookshop, Coffee #1, Costa, and Spar said that they hadn't been badly affected by the roadworks.
Information on the progress of the work will be available at http://www.wwutilities.co.uk/