TRADERS in Hamilton Road this week said they are fearful for their futures due to the closure of Bellshill Cross to traffic for most of this month.
A T-shaped section of the road, covering the approaches to the busy junction along Main Street, Hamilton Road and North Road, is due to shut on Wednesday, January 12, until the end of the month.
The closure is to allow the carrying out of resurfacing which will be the last major works of the final phase of North Lanarkshire Council's controversial town centre upgrade.
But the Hamilton Road traders, already suffering a loss of business due to the work to create new parking bays which has been going on outside their shops this year, fear the latest disruption could be the final nail in their coffin.
Atftab Ahmed, owner of the Crossroads newsagents, said: "I don't see why they have to close the whole cross off - why can't they do one side first and then the other to at least allow some people in? Once you lose customers it's very hard to get them back."
Meanwhile Bellshill Community Council secretary Duncan McLeod has also blasted the closure and raised concerns over traffic safety.
He said: "I think to close off the whole of Bellshill Cross is ridiculous."
Full story in January 6 edition of Bellshill Speaker There just isn't enough room as far as I am concerned.
"And the problem then will be once they have gone along the Main Street they won't be able to go back so there will be nowhere for them to go.
"I also think it could pose problems for the traders in Hamilton Road and can see some of them really struggling to survive.
"They have been having a tough time and this could be the final straw as far as many of them are concerned.
"I don't see why they couldn't have looked at keeping the cross open and working at night but there doesn't seem to have been much consultation with the people who will be most affected."