People are being urged not to turn away from businesses along a main road into Falmouth during roadworks after one told the Packet footfall was down by two thirds since it started.

South West Water is currently carrying out work along Commercial Road, Penryn scheduled to end on March 28, to install new sewerage pipes after the old ones became overwhelmed by increased use.

Temporary traffic lights have been installed and, while they have caused some delays, one business owner says negative publicity about the area has seen her trade drop by two thirds and she is struggling to survive.

Dawn Bryans, co-owner of home and gifts store Just Delights with her daughter, says they have had serious discussions about what they will have to do if the situation doesn’t improve.

She says since January trade has fallen off a cliff.

“The problem is there has been such a negative publicity about Commercial Road since the roadworks started,” she said. “My daughter put on the local radio during the recent rain and hail and it was literally telling people to stay away from Penryn.

“It’s hard but we just have to keep going and think of things we can do to survive until it finishes. It is hard.”

Business owners in Commercial Road say they have suffered months of road closures, parking restrictions and temporary traffic lights due to numerous works by Southwest Water and Cornwall Council.

David Carne, of Riggers-UK is also concerned about plans for the road as part of council’s "levelling up" proposal to build a new “Metro’ railway line between Newquay and Falmouth. He says it will include further parking space losses to accommodate a cycle way outside their premises.

The council has invited businesses to a meeting at Falmouth University on Thursday (29th Feb 4 pm) to discuss the plan but he says there has been no consultation on the design.

He says it is the last straw for many of the more than 300 businesses in Penryn’s Commercial Road, who are currently dealing with long term temporary traffic lights imposed by Southwest Water for the second time in recent years.

In addition he says work to build accommodation for homeless people in Penryn has closed the only car park near their shops and offices “It’s an extremely successful area with no empty premises - unlike many city centres - but the constant roadworks, parking closures and now the new Cycleway scheme are making doing business in Commercial Road more difficult,” he said.

However Paul from Cycle Solutions told the Packet parking had always been an issue for Commercial Road and it was part of the complex needs of the road.

“The bigger issue is the volume of traffic and pollution,” he said. “If there is any way of calming down that sort of thing that would draw people into the area because it is a good place to be with a good community and an interesting place to go to, then I think that would be beneficial if they put in a usable cycle lane.

He added: “I support a scheme that would beneficial to the area, this is quite rudimentary in detail a segregated cycle lane will help but parking will always be affected.”

Engagement events for Mid Cornwall Metro are being held this week at the Stannary, Tremough campus on Friday, March 1 from 10am to 5pm (public event) and at the Temperance Hall, Penryn (public event) on Saturday, March 2 from 10am to 4pm.