TRADERS and businessmen in Bransgore have hit out at the “damaging” timing of disruptive roadworks in the small rural village.

Owners of shops along Ringwood Road and the landlord of the Three Tuns Inn have criticised Hampshire County Council for the two separate road projects – one to repair drainage networks along Ringwood Road and the other to create a short cycle lane opposite the pub.

The work outside the pub has seen the public footpath closed and temporary traffic lights operating one lane of traffic.

Nigel Glenister, who owns the Three Tuns Inn, said the first time he was notified of the roadworks was on Monday morning when the road began to be dug up.

“These are our busiest two weeks of the year.

“The closure of the path means people walking from the pub to local caravan parks can’t do so safely, the outside of the building, which is renowned for its blooms are now shrouded in road works and barriers and lunchtime service has been killed by the noise and dusty diggers.

“This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the village, especially with the other works along the shopping parade. Two weeks of the tourist season they have taken away from us.”

Further up Ringwood Road, traders say they are already feeling the effects of works, which has closed the road past the parade of shops, except for access.

Despite being told by engineers a week before the works started the road would only be closed between 9am-4pm, it has remained stopped-up for the entire three weeks so far.

Peter Aldersey, owner of The Newsagent in Ringwood Road said: “There has been no thought at all as to the implications of these works.

“The summer is a busy time – we get a lot of business from the local caravan sites but we have suffered because of this.

“No-one seems to care about how this affects us and local residents. I don’t know whether these officers have any sense of reality?”

Gary Yendall, owner of Bransgore Country Markets added: “It is damaging. This year hasn’t been great already because of the weather and we didn’t receive any warning.

“At first there weren’t even any signs saying we were open.

“Luckily our regulars are great but we do need the business from holidaymakers, who have been put off by the diversions and works.”

District councillor and chairman of Bransgore Parish Council , Ann Hickman said: “We weren’t told any roadworks were going to happen and in my position as district councillor, I had no notification either. It’s affecting business at the shops because people can’t park easily.”

The county council was contacted by had not commented by the time of going to press.