BUSINESSES say they have been left counting the cost after roadworks saw profits nosedive.

Bosses say the road signs advising motorists that Norris Street was closed were misleading as only a section of the road was actually closed.

Steve Harris, who runs Harris’ House sandwich shop, says he was not notified beforehand the work would start last Monday.

He said: “I had not had anyone tell me so it was a surprise when the roadworks turned up.

“From the Monday there was a significant reduction in numbers. Monday is my busiest day and normally expect around 80 customers but last week I only had four.

“Businesses on the road lost almost 100 per cent footfall because they put road closed signs up in the area and people have been seeing the road closed sign and thought not to bother and go somewhere else.

“We have lost a lot of money in that week of the roadworks.

“The road wasn’t closed fully, just part of it and it was still accessible.

“It was very unclear and very confusing.”

The works ran from Monday to Friday but Steve believes more should have been done to help businesses such as extra signage saying businesses were still open as usual.

“We get foot traffic and people driving past and that’s 80 per cent of my trade.”

The sandwich shop opened up in November, but Steve says other businesses such as those on Battersby Lane where work has been running for longer, are being left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

“Business this week has been very slow, I have lost all momentum.

"As a start-up business I have been putting in a lot of hard work to build things up,” he added. “It’s going to take weeks to get it back up to its previous levels.”

A council spokesman said: “The council tries hard to ensure road closure information is communicated to a wide audience.

"As part of road works we maintain full access to businesses and residents wherever possible.

"The council apologises for any inconvenience caused and works finished on Friday.”