SHOPKEEPERS say they have been left out of pocket because gas works outside their shops have brought trade to a halt.
Southern Gas Networks (SGN) is digging up Privett Road, in Gosport, to replace gas mains with new long-lasting plastic pipes.
But with the work dragging on for weeks, traders nearby have seen a drastic drop in customers, costing them thousands of pounds.
Now they want compensation from the gas company for the disruption it has caused them.
Jo Durham, who runs the Queens Parade News shop, said her newsagent was losing around £3,000 a week.
She said: ‘It’s killing us because we just don’t get anywhere near as many people coming in.
‘It leaves you feeling very beaten down but we just have to weather the storm.
‘I don’t have a problem with the workmen because they work hard and just do what they are told, but the work has taken so long and we just want it finished.’
The work has caused congestion on Privett Road due to temporary lane closures and traffic lights.
Chan Le, from nearby Queens Parade Fisheries, said the takings at her fish and chip shop were down by 35 per cent.
‘We rely a lot on passing trade and if people can’t get in that’s it for us,’ she said.
‘There was one occasion where they shut the access road to our shops and nobody could get in at all.
‘Over the last couple of years we have managed to hold our own despite the recession but this is a big problem.
‘They should have warned us about the problem this was going to cause.’
SGN said the work will be finished by the end of November and that the new plastic pipes would last for 80 years.
Spokeswoman Hannah Brett said: ‘We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and thank local residents, traders and road users for their patience while we complete this essential work.
‘We understand people get frustrated by roadworks; however, the new plastic pipe has a minimum life-span of 80 years. This means when the work is complete, people will continue to enjoy the benefits of a safe and secure gas supply for years to come.
‘We do have a compensation scheme in place for small businesses which suffer genuine loss of trade due to our works.’