THE closure of College Row in Cardigan and the reappearance of scaffolding outside the Markethall has prompted an angry reaction from town business owners.

Ceredigion County Council has closed the road for up to 12 weeks while repair work is carried out on the Markethall roof.

But scaffolding that had enveloped the building for the past year has only just come down and traders cannot believe that businesses will once again have to put up with further disruption and loss of trade.

Cilla Lewis, at Caffi Carn Alw, said: “Well, surprise, surprise our old friend the scaffolding is back. Why are we having it erected again so soon is the question?

“Do the people who sit in the offices in Ceredigion County Council think that it’s okay for the market traders to suffer once again? Why wasn't the job completed when the scaffolding was up? Also, how long is it going to be there this time?

“Our local council have 'We need to keep an eye on this as it is easy for people in an office to close the road',

“Well it would have been better had they have kept an eye on the previous lot of scaffolding that had been up and damaged trade. We also will be having scaffolding up again inside the market itself - oh goodie, just in time for the summer season.

“Well no need to worry. The traders will carry on regardless of the fact of losing business and no form of renumeration from Ceredigion.

“The traders that have been here for years are despondent and fed up but we still have a smile on our faces when we serve the public.”

Phillipa Noble, of fishing tackle shop Castaway Cardigan on College Row itself, said: “We rely on this road being open. Visitors will often drive by, see where we are and come back in.

“I cannot see the reason to shut the road completely, especially at this time of year and heading into the busiest time of the season.

“We have lovely shops in the town and I am sure people would love to shop local but his just adds to the traffic congestion and makes things even more difficult, coupled with the cost of parking in town and the loss of the lift from the lower car park.

“No wonder people are shopping out of town.

“I have elderly and disabled customers who I have told I will meet elsewhere because they cannot get near but that will mean me having to close the shop while I am out. That should not have to happen.”

A spokesman for Ceredigion County Council said: “There were major structural defects to the internal structure of the building which required rectification before any repair works to the roof could be undertaken.

“Those works are now complete and therefore the roof repairs can be addressed. These works cannot be undertaken without the use of scaffolding on the public highway.

“Various options were considered, however to ensure the health and safety of both the contractor undertaking the works and the public using the road, it was considered that the scaffolding would encroach too far into the highway to maintain vehicular access.

“The optimum time for the roof works to be carried out is obviously during dry weather periods. Failure to do this work now would seriously compromise the works carried out internally, especially with the greater possibility of water ingress.

“Pedestrian access will be maintained along College Row for the duration of the contract, and every effort will be made to ensure that the period of the closure will be kept to a minimum.”