ANGRY traders say a giant festive attraction threatens to cut them off during the crucial Christmas period.

The Ice Blast slide has been erected at the top of Commercial Road in Bournemouth town centre and businesspeople in the Triangle say it will mean people won’t walk as far as their shops and pubs, especially when it is lit up in the dark.

But others say it will draw people to the top of town.

Steve Cooke, landlord of the Baker’s Arms, said: “When you walk up the precinct you can normally see up here.

“Last Christmas we were busy because couples go shopping and the husbands come in for a couple of pints while the wives go shopping.”

David Williams, from The Watch Shop, said: “The council said there was going to be a slide put up, but I wasn’t expecting that.

“It’s crazy to put that in the middle there. It cuts the top of the town off. It’s Christmas and we need customers to survive.”

Pradip Patel, who runs Main News, added: “People can’t see our shop. They’re going to come up as far as the slide and then go back down.”

Nigel Hedges, president of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “The town is very Square- orientated and the outlying areas have died a death. People will be right in front of the door of these businesses.”

Adrian Carpenter, secretary of the Triangle Traders’ Assoc-iation, said the slide and a Victorian event planned for December aimed to bring people to the Triangle.

Roger Parker, town centre manager, said the council had invested £274,000 in the Triangle this year.

“The trade recognises the importance of pulling people up Commercial Road and into the Triangle and this year we are fully supporting the traders’ plans to hold a Winter Wonderland Experience in the Triangle.

“The new attraction being installed at the top of Commercial Road has been carefully positioned, and once decorated should help attract shoppers and visitors from the Square towards the Triangle.”