BUSINESSES near the Sadlers Farm roundabout say the roadworks are killing their trade.
The Sadlers Hall Farm Shop in London Road, is closing for good this week while scores of other businesses are feeling the strain of changes to the major road layout.
Traffic ground to a halt earlier this month as the five mini roundabouts were replaced with a one-lane roundabout, causing up to two-mile tailbacks, forcing motorists to seek refuge on the A127.
Furious business owners claim this and the overrunning roadworks are driving away customers from the light industrial estate, with many considering relocating altogether if trade does not pick up.
Ben Livings, 36, owner of Sadlers Farm Office Furniture, said: “Business is absolutely horrendous. People are avoiding Sadlers Farm like the plague since they changed the layout.
“All we are trying to do is earn a living, and these roadworks are causing us a nightmare.
“It is nowhere near finished. They look like they will last another six months, so its not going to get better any time soon.
“The butchers next door is shutting this week because things are so bad, which is such a shame. He has been here longer than me.
“I have heard rumours three or four others might have to do the same.”
This comes after claims Essex County Council announced business owners would not receive any compensation for the disruption as access to the site has remained open throughout the scheme.
Paul Gibson, owner of C&G Plumbing, who was considering closing last August because of the roadworks, said: “Things are so bad we might as well not be here.
“We have considered shutting up shop, but time and time again we keep hanging on hoping things will improve but they just don’t.
“The queues around here are just horrendous, so more and more people are avoiding the A13.
“I just think it is disgusting the county council is not offering us any compensation for all these problems, not even just waiving the rent charges for a few months.
“We all just feel totally betrayed by them.”
Roadworks at the busy Benfleet roundabout, which links the A13 and A130, started in June 2010 and were originally scheduled
to finish on Saturday.
Concerns have been raised that the project is months behind as Essex County Council has refused to give a definitive date of when the work will be finished.