Businesses in a busy commercial road in Richmond have been left despairing after the entire road was coned off to prevent parking due to gas works.

Traders in Crown Road say they were only notified of the works in Richmond Road a week before they began on April 8 – which at first saw temporary traffic lights introduced.

But since then the lights have been removed by Cadent, the gas company behind the works, and a one-way diversion for buses has been introduced down Crown Road, with parking now prohibited.

Martin Herdman, who has traded from The Herdman Family Carpet Shop in Crown Road for 32 years, and is chair of the St Margarets Traders Association, said businesses were “up in arms” over the situation and collectively fear a massive reduction in footfall.

“I could end up losing as much as £60,000 because of this. The works are predicted to last around two months and they only have three guys down there working, you’d think they could have double the numbers down and finish it a bit quicker,” Mr Herdman said.

“It was working fine in the first week when they were using temporary traffic lights, but now they have coned off all along Crown Road and made it one-way so nobody can park there and we can’t even have deliveries.”

Mr Herdman said traders were already struggling with uncertainty over Brexit and this latest blow would be devastating for them.

A spokesman for Cadent responded: “We recognise that there may be some frustrations with the work however the project has been carefully planned in close discussion with the local authority.

“The planning process took six months and everything possible is being done to ensure the work is delivered with as little disruption to the local area as possible.

“The original project was originally far longer but to minimise disruption we arranged for work to take place seven days a week so the project could be completed faster, we are also trying to bring in additional resources to speed things up.”

The spokesman suggested that the company had started the work following discussions with Richmond Council and TfL and had held a community consultation evening as well as sent a customer relations officer to businesses in Crown Road and Richmond Road.

But Mr Herdman criticised Cadent over its consultation and said many businesses in the area had been totally unaware of the proposals until only a week before work began.

“There has been no real effort to engage with any businesses over this,” he said.

“We only found out because of a written notice a week before the works started – which I wasn’t even sent personally.”