WILTON has “become a ghost town” according to business owners who say they have been struggling with road closures and traffic chaos for weeks.
Road works have been taking place since May and are expected to end behind schedule, in August.
Business owners say it appears as though no work has been done along West Street for the last two weeks, though the road has remained closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm.“It's causing chaos; Wilton has just come to a standstill,” said Ursula Dyer from Tikis hairdressers. “It's only going to take a couple more weeks and it could be devastating. Businesses are getting quieter and quieter and people are avoiding going to Wilton.”
“Three or four years ago there were quite a few empty shops but now there is only one, and Wilton has been thriving. Now all of a sudden it has gone dead,” she added.
And Lizzie King from Mio Interiors said: “We've suffered a loss of revenue because of this. One Saturday I closed completely because there was no point being open. It's soul destroying.” There are also a number of retirement flats along West Street and manager Suzanne Lorford said she is concerned for the safety of the elderly residents who are forced to walk along an uneven pavement to get into the town.
“The pavements are not finished and the drains are exposed,” she said. “We have been very angry because nothing has happened in the last week at all.”A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Work began on improvements to the A30 West Street at the beginning of May. It has been broken into several phases and covers resurfacing of the existing carriageway, footpath and kerb, installation of new drainage, replacement of existing signage and road markings, and the adjustment of ironwork.
“Parts of the work involve temporary road closures to ensure that adequate health and safety is maintained for local residents and the contractor. This includes the current phase, which is due to be completed at the end of this week “It will be followed by a further week, ending July 4, to complete all kerbing, footpath and drainage works.
“The final phase of surfacing the carriageway will now start on August 14 for two weeks. This will involve a temporary night time closure of the road from 7pm to midnight throughout that period.”