A north Hampshire garden centre could be forced to shut after a nearby road closure resulted in a sharp drop in trade.
Hook Home and Garden Centre is based on the outskirts of the village on Reading Road, part of which is currently undergoing 13 weeks of roadworks being carried out by South East Water.
The section of the road that is closed, between the junctions for Red Hill and Vicarage Lane, is a mile and a half from the garden centre.
But owner Kim Gilbert is saying that road closure signs in Hook itself are putting people off from visiting her business, and is calling for clearer signs saying that the closure is much further down the road to be put up.
She said: “It’s really affecting our business, the work’s supposed to go on for 13 weeks but I’m going to have to close if it goes on for that long because we’re just not getting the trade.
“The Monday and Tuesday before they put the signs up we were really busy, but on Wednesday as soon as they put the signs up, people won’t come down.
“[South East Water] keep saying they’re putting more signs up, but they won’t put that the road closure is two miles down the road on the roundabout, so people are instantly going past.
“We are a small, family run business, we took over somebody that went into liquidation, trying to pick up our feet and we were, but now it’s just hit us.”
Work on the road started on August 21, with 800 metres of water pipes being installed.
But Matthew Cooper, project manager at South East Water, has said that more signs have been put up in response to Ms Gilbert’s concerns.
He said: “We have taken a number of steps to ensure we are working with businesses in the local area.
“We have ‘businesses open as usual’ signs on the Griffin Way North and Bracknell Lane approaches to Reading Road to let customers know businesses are still open for trade.
“Following this feedback we have created additional signs which have been placed along Reading Road and its approaches to indicate the distance of the upcoming road closure from these locations.
“We are sorry for the disruption this important work is causing. Our contractors are working hard to complete the project as quickly and safely as possible.”