Traders’ woe over gas work in Albert Road

David Sanderson

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TRADERS and motorists are set to endure weeks of roadworks on one of Southsea’s busiest roads.

Southern Gas Networks is carrying out maintenance works along the road and temporary traffic lights are in operation at the junction of Waverley Road.

The work, which is to replace the road’s existing gas supply, is expected to last eight weeks as engineers work their way up to the junction of Francis Avenue.

But it comes just months after temporary traffic lights on the same junction caused congestion misery for motorists.

Barry Leaney, owner of Street Level in Albert Road, fears the work will hit businesses already affected by the economic slump on the high street.

He said: ‘I am fed up with it – it’s just going on and on.

‘As soon as they put the road back to normal, they have to dig it up again.

‘On top of everything else I am finding it difficult and people are finding it difficult with money as it is.

‘I have had a very difficult year and this doesn’t help.

‘Traffic gets busy and people just avoid the area when they realise.’

Taxi driver Vincent Aldous added: ‘Normally, the four-way traffic lights mean you are waiting for approximately two and a half minutes, but when you hit rush hour with temporary lights it’s going to be an absolute nightmare.

‘I went to Egypt and wasn’t affected by any roadworks. If Egypt can do it I am sure Portsmouth can.’

Margaret Lewis, owner of Laundryland in Albert Road, said she was still open for business despite the work being carried out outside her shop.

Hannah Brett, spokesperson for Southern Gas Networks, said: ‘We appreciate that people can get frustrated by roadworks and apologise for any inconvenience our work may cause.

‘However, the new plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years. This means that when the work is complete, people will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable gas supply for years to come.’

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