THE opening of a new link road to speed traffic from the M65 to a town centre – which was named after a Blackburn sporting great – has left nearby businesses in the slow lane.

Owners claim the failure of the council to install promised signs reminding motorists they are still operating has caused their trade to nosedive.

The four-time World Superbike champion and TV King of the Jungle opened Blackburn’s Carl Fogarty Way in June.

The final part of the £4.8million Furthergate Link Road, the highway from the Red Lion roundabout near M65 junction six to Bottomgate bypasses Burnley Road, home to several shops and businesses.

Now Steve Stanton, who owns Green Chilli Deli, and Feroz Suleman, proprietor of R1 Tyres, say their businesses and others on the former main route into Blackburn centre have seen their trade and profits fall dramatically. Their concerns fulfil warnings from Farzana Kazi, of Whitebirk News, in July 2017 that the new road would hit businesses on Burnley Road.

Mr Stanton and Mr Suleman accused the council of failing to put up signs that were promised to ensure drivers were aware of their continuing activity and are asking for compensation for lost trade.

Little Harwood and Whitebirk ward’s Cllr Pat McFall said: “I am concerned. I shall raise traders’ concerns with the council.”

Mr Suleman said: “Opening the new road has really damaged my trade. Instead of taking up to £1,000 a day I am just taking £10 or £20. We were promised new signs directing people to existing businesses but they have not happened.

“The council need to put those signs up now and pay us compensation for lost trade. I’ve had to make two staff redundant. This road was supposed to open up opportunities for new businesses not damage existing ones.”

Mr Stanton said: “Opening Carl Fogarty Way has really damaged my takings. My shop lost most of its passing trade and cost me a significant percentage of my business.

“The council promised us signs directing people to our business but they have not been installed. We need those signs now and some compensation for the takings we have all lost.”

The council spokesman said: “Highway signs to provide directions to businesses on Burnley Road are being made and will let potential customers know that businesses on the road are still open as usual. These to be installed in early September. Traffic has not been restricted in any way and Burnley Road is still open as usual.”