TRADERS and motorists in Cheltenham are bracing themselves for a week of traffic chaos as roads on one side of the town are ripped up to repair potholes.
Gloucestershire Highways workers are set to close parts of Clarence Road, Evesham Road and Prestbury Road between Monday and February 12 – eight days.
It comes as they bid to make much-needed repairs to the road surfaces. Madarchod Karim, owner of Pittville Newsagents and Convenience Stores in Prestbury Road, said he expected it to have a negative impact on trade.
"It will almost certainly affect us," he said. "We will probably lose some passing trade if the road is closed for the week.
"It will make it extremely busy on other roads on this side of town – especially during rush hour."
However, he added that the work needed to be done.
"The potholes have been really bad for over a year now – ever since we had our last really cold period," he added.
"Most people will be pleased they are finally getting round to it."
Simon Butland, owner of Pittville Bathrooms, also in Prestbury Road, said he expected surrounding routes to be chock-a-block while the work was ongoing.
"Put it this way, I won't be leaving work at peak times as I expect it to be very busy," he said.
"We will suffer from a drop in footfall with the road being closed and it will affect our deliveries too. But the work really needs doing."
Prestbury Road, from the roundabout to the junction of Winchcombe Street, will be shut to motorists from Monday to Friday next week.
The busy junction of Clarence Road with Evesham Road will be closed on Sunday February 10. Then on February 11 and 12, Clarence Road will be closed next to the junction with Evesham Road.
County councillor Dave Prince (PAB, Oakley, Pittville and Prestbury) said: "People are quick to criticise the state of our roads so I don't think they can complain when repairs take place, even if they are inconvenient." Diversions will be set up to reroute traffic away from the affected routes, with delays expected. The resurfacing work starts days before Bath Road is due to close for two weeks from February 11 for utilities repairs.
County councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: "This is important resurfacing work to significantly improve these well-used roads for local residents."
Pothole problems, P6; Opinion, P8 and roadwork warning, P16