BUSINESSES close to where Wessex Water has shut Blandford Road for emergency sewer repairs say they’ve been left counting the cost of lost trade.

Engineers completely closed the road between the junctions of Turlin Road and Allen’s Lane, Hamworthy, this lunchtime, after the sewer burst on Sunday.

Borough of Poole traffic manager Steve Tite said this burst, coupled with the recent severe weather, had created a risk that the road surface could collapse.

Traffic had already being building around the junction daily, after Wessex Water implemented a partial closure with temporary traffic signals earlier this week.

However, amid rising concerns about the safety of road users, Borough of Poole sanctioned the complete closure of the main road linking Hamworthy to Poole at midday.

The council insisted it was too early to say how long the road would be closed, although, it said, the indications were it would be at least until Sunday.

Meanwhile, businesses in the area say they’re being hit hard by the emergency work.

Sam Paterson, general manager of nearby Snows – the Volvo dealership and service centre – said potential customers had “given up” on their appointments.

He explained: “At the moment our customers cannot actually get here to be able to get their cars serviced on time.

“We cannot get our staff here, so everybody is having to start work earlier in the morning to get through the traffic. Before 7.45am it is OK, but as soon as the schools start it goes absolutely nuts.

“If a customer does manage to get to us, we then cannot get back to the dealership when we’re doing a demonstration.

“So people are just putting off appointments at the moment. They are giving up.”

Staff at the Murco petrol station told the Daily Echo the situation was “diabolical.”

Speaking this morning, sales assistant Angie – who declined to give her surname – said: “Normally I  would have a forecourt full by now. It is just absolutely dead, yesterday was the same. It is diabolical.”

While the closure is in place traffic will be barred from turning left out of Turlin Road, but will still be able to turn right to get to Poole.

Upton residents will be unable to drive directly along Blandford Road to Poole, but instead will be forced to take a lengthy detour via Holes Bay Road.