TRADERS have said roadworks are affecting takings and deterring customers.

A major project to replace sewers and water pipes has been progressing in Bolton Road, Blackburn, for two months and is due to continue until the end of September.

The project, close to the Aqueduct pub, has seen one side of the carriageway closed and one-way traffic flow controlled by traffic lights.

Antony Duckworth, who runs the Washbowl laundrette, said: “In the past seven days takings were 30 per cent down on what would normally be expected.

“The barriers are covering two-thirds of the pavement and the current appearance would lead many to think that the business is closed.

“I understand the need for utility improvements but the length of time it is taking and the scale of the area sealed off is taking its toll.”

Roger Green, the proprietor of Hair by Roger, said noise and vibrations from the work was spoiling the salon’s ‘peaceful environment'.

A spokesperson from United Utilities said: “We are fully aware of the impact this scheme has had on the community and businesses.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption, and to keep people informed.

“Our customer care team visited traders prior to work commencing, to talk about possible impact on trade, and explain how to make claims for loss of earnings.

“The work in Bolton Road is delayed due to ground conditions.

"Our aim is to complete the sewer connection to the newly constructed sewer overflow chamber by the end of September.”

The company also plans to compensate the community by building an outdoor community play area on Dickens Street.