TRADERS suffering from the Sadlers Farm saga say business is down more than 50 per cent.
Firms near the roadworks at the notorious Benfleet roundabout fear they will suffer until Christmas after news work would resume in September after the Olympics.
Jason White, 39, who has run JD Cycles in London Road, Benfleet, for 15 years, said: “My business turnover has gone down month after month.
“Every month is a new low in terms of the money coming in. Now we don’t even know whether Sadlers Farm will be completed this year, as the council has given no new deadline.
“In the meantime, my business rates have gone up by 6 per cent to £698 a month. It doesn’t take a genius to see if there is more going out than coming in, you are making a loss, and that’s just not sustainable.”
Chris Jones, 32, of Bathroom Boutique, also in London Road, is seeking compensation.
He said: “We opened 18 months ago, and have seen a drop of well over 50 per cent in business during that time.”
Sean Mashru, 54, who runs nearby Tarpots News said: “I have been here 24 years, and there has been a big difference even since January.
“We had all been hoping that at least in the run-up to Christmas we might be able to make up some of the losses. Now that’s going to be hammered too.
“I have applied for rate rebates, but had no response to my e-mails.”
People looking to sell homes are also being hit by the trouble.
Rob Butterworth, 35, of Fisks Estate Agents, said: “We have had no end of cancelled viewings because people do not want to get caught in the roadworks.
“Just when we thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, the contractors are coming back again in September.”
Derrick Louis, county councillor responsible for Highways and Transportation said: “I really sympathise with the businesses affected. The council has spoken to the contractors to see what measures they might be able to take to mitigate the effect on small businesses.”