UNITED Utilities has promised that roadworks creating traffic chaos in Leigh will be finished on time.

The pledge comes as businesses in the Tamar-Wigan Road area, hit by the sewer works in Leigh Road which are due to finish at the end of next month, claim that trade is suffering. One has threatened to close until work is finished and another is planning to seek legal advice regarding compensation. The business community met this week and have again written to Leigh MP Andy Burnham and Wigan council leader Lord Smith asking if the company's agreements to work overtime were verbal or written into a contract. The letter said many businesses were finding it difficult, with some 60 per cent down on normal takings. On their behalf Mr Glenn Hitchen said: "United Utilities have stated that compensation can be applied for, but this does not satisfy people who would rather the work be completed as quickly as possible to minimise the time and effort to claim retrospectively." A United Utilities spokesman said: "We agreed to work Saturdays and Sundays when required. There is always the number of people required to do a certain job on site at any time. We know how long it will take from start to finish and a timetable is planned and the programme adhered to. Again we apologise."

We want to minimise disruption but these are essential works and we ask people to bear with us.

'If businesses wish to take issue with the company any approach will be looked into."