FIVE weeks of roadworks in Fordingbridge are well underway, and the town's independent businesses are determined to keep customers coming.

The carriageway works started its first out of five phases on Monday, June 10 and are expected to be completed by Friday, July 12. 

Over the upcoming weeks, road closures and diversions will be in place while works including kerb replacements and carriageway resurfacing are carried out.

Businesses across Fordingbridge shared their views with the Journal on how the works are affecting them.

Owner of All The Cool Stuff, Dave Tree, 48, said: “It’s affected every business, because of the fluid nature of the works, there’s no clear direction for people to access the car park. It's causing more confusion than chaos.

 “The roads do need replacing but there is never a good time to do them, there is no clarity of the stages involved for people to understand, there’s never a right time for it, let’s hope they get it done to a high standard.”

Owner of the Gourmet Grocer Clare Johnston, 41, said: “I think it will get worse as they are only just starting.  Five weeks for small businesses in a small town is a long time.”

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The shop specialises in local produce, such as fruit and veg, cheese and gift hampers.

Clare added: “We get fresh produce that has to come on a daily basis so now our suppliers will have to go around.

"It’s just very frustrating when we look out the window and see workmen on the road and the rest just sat in their vans. We have to suck it up."

Works are expected to last five weeksWorks are expected to last five weeks (Image: AVCM)

Abbey Cooke, manager at Carl Hillwood hair and beauty, said: “People are not really wanting to come into town. There’s hardly anybody about.

“We have been here for so many years so I don’t think people will go elsewhere but it will make this next few weeks quieter.

The hairdressers were first established in 1990.

Abbey added: “People are arriving late – it makes our day a bit harder. People are calling up saying they are going to be late which makes us late throughout the day.”

Manager at Avon Valley Community Matters Laura Cowdery said: "Our AVCM charity shop and all the other shops in town are open for business despite the roadworks and really appreciate your support during this time. Come and see what treasure you can find!"