TRADERS say they are fearing for their businesses as controversial roadworks take their toll.

Staff from several premises in the heart of Northop have joined forces to vent their fury at the start of work, which is expected to take six-weeks, to create a new zebra crossing on a corner of the High Street.

The introduction of the roadworks earlier this week has led to motorists enduring lengthy delays on a busy four-way stretch that is widely used by commuters.

Traders Nic Eastwood says he has seen business dry up at his antiques shop as work is carried out directly in front of it.

He said: “This has finished my business, it looks as though we are closed and I might as well not be here for the next six weeks. The whole situation is absolute chaos and once the work has ended my business will still be suffering.”

Mr Eastwood regularly loads and collect antiques from in front of his shop.

“Customers have previously been able to pull in the slipway outside here but that will not be there when the crossing is finished,” he added.

“A lot of the things in this shop are big and heavy and it is going to be extremely difficult carrying them 20 yards along the street so they can be loaded.”

Carol Jones, manager of Brookfield Garage, has seen the backlog caused by the roadworks.

She said: “The traffic is queuing at single file and there were a lot of problems when an ambulance tried to get through, with cars struggling to move out of the way.”

Her mother, Rosemary, has lived on the street for almost 50 years and is treasurer of the Northop Village Hall.

She said: “All our businesses have all come through difficult times but this could be the end of some of them.

“We have events going on at the hall where a lot of people come and I think there will be chaos.”

Flintshire Council has now introduced manual traffic control at peak times to ease the flow of vehicles.

Cllr Marion Bateman, of Northop ward, said: “There has been complete chaos but I am hopeful manual control will work more successfully. I can assure everyone I am doing everything I can to help improve the situation.”

Cllr Tony Sharps, Northop Hall councillor and deputy leader, said: “I have sympathy with the businesses affected by the roadworks.

“The traffic situation has definitely improved since manual control was introduced.”

He said the crossing is being implemented after a petition by residents, with proposals that the crossing should be located closer to Northop Cricket Club ruled out on safety grounds.

Cllr Sharps added that signs have been in place for several weeks informing businesses and residents of the imminent works.

A spokesman for Flintshire Council confirmed the manually controlled works have been introduced from 7.45am to 9am and 4pm to 5.30pm, with the volume of traffic to dictate if it needs to be implemented at other times.