STRUGGLING traders have breathed a huge sigh of relief after months of roadworks came to an end.

Businesses in Canterbury Street, Blackburn, were badly affected by work on a gas main beneath the road.

The road was closed in one direction and traffic from Freckleton Street was unable to turn left to access businesses, such as Ashton Motors, Elephant Car Wash, Canterbury Fireplaces and Canterbury Street MOT Centre.

The roadworks were cleared on Friday and business owners said they were looking forward to getting back to normal, though they were feeling the pinch after months of reduced trade. They are looking at whether they can receive any compensation.

Stephen Everett, who owns Canterbury Fireplaces and rents units to neighbouring businesses, said: “We have really struggled. In the last month I am about £5,500 down and I haven’t charged any rent to the businesses that lease units from me. It was either that or end up with them empty.

“The lads at Elephant Car Wash, which rents one of my units, had to lay off two lads while the roadworks were there. One Saturday they only made £30 on what should be their busiest day.”

Mr Everett said when the roadworks in March began they were told it would take three weeks. He said: “I just don’t know how a job that was meant to take three weeks can take five months. They have cost us an absolute fortune.”

Kamran Illyas, of Ashton Motors, said: “It really did affect us. We had customers complaining that they couldn’t find us and some saying they had got fed up and gone home.

“I am very glad they have gone and we can resume business and get back some of the business we have lost.”