BUSINESSES in Gorse Hill are up in arms over a road closure that they say could force them to shut down.

Signs have gone up warning drivers that Cricklade Road will be closed to motorists for three weeks from Sunday, March 3.

Traders say their customers may not be able to reach them during the planned closure, and in the difficult economic times, it could be the final straw for some.

On behalf of Swindon Council, Swindon Commercial Services Ltd intends to start maintenance and resurfacing works on the road between the Transfer Bridge roundabout to just past the junction of Edinburgh Street.

The works are proposed to be carried out in four phases across three weeks, weather permitting, between 8am and 6pm.

Business owners were surprised that the whole road will be closed to traffic and have asked the council to look at alternative arrangements that would not have such a detrimental impact.

Peter Johnson, owner of PC’s Computer Systems, said: “There has been no consultation. The first time we heard about it was a letter on the doorstep.

“I understand the work has to be done but there should have been some consultation with businesses and some way to get around closing the whole road.

“It is a very tough time for businesses and this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for some.”

Shehzad Hussein, manager of Gorse Hill Dry Cleaners, says he is concerned customers will be unable to park and visit his shop.

He said: “It is not going to be good for business, a lot of business is reliant on the car.

“I don’t know why they are closing all the road – you think they would put lights in, or open one side of the road.”

Some businesses are already preparing for the closure, including Pete Doné of Jensons who is making sure that his suppliers get their supplies to him before the planned works.

He said: “I had a chat with the guy in charge of the works and he has said they have to close the whole road because of the size of these vehicles, they can’t just do one side at a time.

“If the work was not carried out on the roads then they would turn into a state and would be unsafe to drive on.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “The road will be closed for resurfacing, but we will also be carrying out improvements to the kerbs and drainage.

“Advance notice signs have already been put up to warn motorists of the forthcoming closure and there will be diversion signs in place. There will be residential access where possible.

“We appreciate there will be disruption to traders and motorists, which is why we have opted to phase the work to minimise any problems.

“Although the road will be closed, the pedestrian pathways will remain open throughout both phases of the work and motorists will still be able to use Chapel Street car park, which is free, if they want to visit premises along Cricklade Road affected by the closure.”