A PIE shop owner says he is fighting for the survival of his business after SGN's extensive roadworks 'destroyed trade' in Boscombe and Pokesdown.

Matt Betteridge, owner of Bournemouth Pies, has reported financial losses of up to 85 per cent since work in Christchurch Road got under way.

The father-of-six said he has experienced problems ever since engineers ripped up the road to carry out works to the gas network.

Business owners in the area are now worried for their futures, he said.

Work will continue in the road until around Christmas.

Mr Betteridge said: “Since the work began, business has dropped by 80 to 85 per cent.

"I am in £2,000 of debt in less than a month. The roadworks are destroying the business.

"I see my hardcore regulars coming in but footfall has dramatically dropped. There is no one coming in and no one can pull up.

"There will be a lot of closed shops by the end of the year."

He said sales are down, and "wastage" is up.

"I only found out about the roadworks a week before they started because I saw something on Facebook," he said.

"It's amazing what a difference it makes. I am getting more and more in debt and I'm really worried.

"I'm considering looking for a second job to cover my bills.

"It’s lunchtime now as I'm talking to you, and the shop is still empty.”

The works are between Hannington Road and Gloucester Road.

Christchurch Road is a major route for motorists travelling between the Iford Roundabout and Bournemouth, as well as for those travelling from Boscombe and Pokesdown to the A338 Wessex Way.

Other businessowners have previously told the Echo of their fears.

At that time, a spokesperson for SGN said: “All businesses in the local area will remain open as usual.

"Local small businesses which suffer a genuine loss of trade because of our work may qualify for our compensation scheme.

"We’ll continue to liaise with local businesses and residents over the coming months to ensure we limit the disruption to the local community during this essential work.

"We’re also working six days a week to ensure we complete this work as quickly and safely as possible.”

For more information on the compensation scheme, visit sgn.co.uk and search for 'compensation'.