THE owners of two businesses extensive work laying gas pipes on the main road where their shops are located in Royton has badly affected trade.

They say the work on Oldham Road, which started on September 11, has caused a fall-off in takings, adding to the distress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kwok Wong runs the Ree Ming Chinese takeaway which has been in his family for more than 50 years after they moved to Oldham from Hong Kong.

He is heavily dependent on passing trade.

Kwok, 50, told The Oldham Times: "People come from all over Oldham and beyond to get food from here because we are so well established and well known.

"But because of the road works, they cannot park outside the shop, which is causing major problems for us."

It's a similar story for the florist Janine Lancashire who has run her shop Sweet Peas for 21 years, a few doors further down.

She said: "We get a lot of our orders over the telephone, so we are not as dependent as Kwok is on people being able to park outside the shop.

"But we have a truck which comes from Holland with flowers on Sundays and the fact that it can't pull up outside the shop has caused a big problem."

A spokesperson for Cadent said: "We’re replacing a significant length of gas main, which runs underneath the road.

"It’s part of a major UK-wide programme to replace old metallic gas mains with tough plastic pipes – to make sure local homes and businesses get a safe, reliable gas supply well into the future.

"For planned works like this, we always agree timing and traffic management with the local authority.

"In this case agreeing a permit to start on September 11and finish by November 19.

"Our customer team sends letters to all properties directly affected, and knock door-to-door, so that they are aware of what’s happening and why.

"We have managed the job in such a way that we can keep the road open, with traffic lights. "These are manned from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, switching to automatic lights at night.

"This is major engineering and, while we always work hard to get the job done as fast as possible, we must make sure everything is completed safely and 100 per cent right.

"In this case, we are likely to need a little extra time and have agreed with the council a short extension to December 1."