Irate traders in Camborne say the closure of the main street for gas works has stopped traffic coming through the town and is killing trade.

Gas main work on the A3047 began on January 7 and is due to carry on until January 29.

Diversions are in place during that time to route vehicles around the suburbs and away from town centre shops.

Due to Wales and West Utility works there will be closures on Commercial Street and Church Street. 

During the closure period buses will operate on diversion via Tregenna Lane and will not serve stops on Commercial Street and Basset Road. 

Martin Hughes is chair of BID Camborne and the owner of MRH Saddler in Trelowarren Street.

He said: “Businesses are dead. Passing trade is vital and we’re seeing a huge drop in shopper numbers. Times are hard enough for retail businesses as it is, without a prolonged closure like this putting another nail in our coffin.

“We’re calling for the closure period to be shortened or lifted during business trading hours as the current level of restriction is trebling journey times and costing us dearly.”

Councillor John Morgan is County Councillor for Camborne West and a BID Camborne director.

He said: “I got an email telling me the closure was going to happen a few days before it started and responded straight away to say cutting off the town to vehicle access would have financial repercussions for traders.

“I understand that work has to be done but making decisions like this without consulting those affected and working out a mutually acceptable plan of action beforehand is not right.”

Martin Hughes believes the closure impact endorses BID Camborne’s opposition to Cornwall Council’s initial proposals to change traffic flow in the town, as part of Town Deal funding.

“We knew reducing parking spaces and introducing measures to deter people from using their cars would have a damaging effect, as the current situation proves,” he said. “Thankfully, the council says it has listened to us and we’re looking forward to seeing their revised plans shortly.”

Wales & West Utilities Programme Controller for Camborne, Abby Smith said:

“We are working in the Church Street and Commercial Street area of Camborne to upgrade the gas network. This investment is essential to keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future.

“We’ve worked closely with Cornwall Council to plan these works, and to keep the local community, road users and our colleagues safe while we work, we have had to close Church Street and Commercial Street to vehicles. Pedestrian access is being maintained and there is a diversion route in place for vehicles.

“We began on the 07 January and barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect to complete our work and reopen the roads by the end of January (2024).

“We appreciate that while we’ve worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum, our work can impact on local businesses. Any local traders who feel their business has been adversely affected by our work can apply for compensation under the Gas (Street Works) Compensation for Small Businesses Regulations 1996.

“Businesses have up to three months after we have finished our work to make a claim. Business owners who feel they have been affected by our work can discuss a potential claim with our Customer Service Team. 

"Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999 or Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or

"We know working on roads like these is not ideal, but this work really is essential to keep the gas flowing to heat homes and power businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future and can play its part in delivering reliable and affordable green energy.”