PUB and shop owners in Stanley say over-running roadworks in their village will drive them out of business.
Diggers and fences have surrounded The Travellers pub and nearby Reehal off-licence for about four weeks, making it difficult for customers to get there by car.
And this week contractors began churning up ground outside the Lake Lock Road pub, leaving it almost completely blocked off.
Landlady Sam Carney said she had taken just a fraction of her usual custom since the roadworks began. She said: “I am in the middle of a building site and people can’t get here. It would be difficult even for emergency services to get here.
“I was told at first that they could put plates across the ground to enable access but now they’re saying they can’t, so the place is completely blocked off.
“I understand that the work is important, but it’s due to go on until the end of April and we’re really worried.”
Manny Patel, of the Reehal Off-Licence which is one of the oldest shops in Stanley, said: “I am losing a lot of sleep at the moment. I’ve got two young children and a very large mortgage on this place, and if this keeps up I will be out of business by April.”
The £5m project, undertaken by Barhale Construction on behalf of Yorkshire Water, began in October and is running about a month behind.
Mr Patel added: “To try to catch up they are working all weekend too, so we don’t even get a chance to make up the trade.”
Both Ms Carney and Mr Patel said they were offered interim payments by Yorkshire Water but had not yet received them.
A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Water said: “We apologise for any disruption this work is having on the community and reassure residents and businesses that we are working as quickly as possible to complete the scheme.”
Ed Balls MP said he would put pressure on the company to have the problems resolved.
He said: “It’s not right that this part of Stanley has been made to struggle in this way for so long. Roadworks have been going on for months now and businesses deserve proper compensation for lost income.”