BUSINESSES in St John’s are getting a reprieve from controversial roadworks that have plagued them for months.

The first phase of the congestion relief work in St John’s is set to be completed by the end of November, with a break being taken over the Christmas period to allow businesses to have some construction-free weeks.

However, St John's councillor Richard Udall said the break was simply "a break in the misery" with works set to resume in January.

He said: "Traders are well aware of the damage these works have caused to their trade in what has already been a terrible year. These works simply add to it.

"Hopefully the disruption can be minimised when the work begins again. One of the things I am pushing for is a reduction in night time work as it was a nightmare for people living nearby before."

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Cllr Udall said he hopes to see a limit on night-time work with no work after midnight, but said it remains to be seen if the County Council will implement it.

Throughout December, the majority of traffic management obstacles will be removed with a small amount remaining until the works restart in January.

Councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member with responsibility for highways said: “We’re ahead of where we expected to be with the scheme and as such, we’ve been able to move some of the planned works forward from early next year.

“This has enabled us to move offsite for a number of vital weeks to give local businesses, and residents, some time off from construction at this important time of year.

“Work on the scheme has been progressing well with big improvements already visible in the area.

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“On the north side of the footway, blockwork enhancements have been completed and you can really see how much better this side looks.

“Once the south footway is finished, along with all the other improvements being made, including two lanes of traffic all the way from the roundabout to the Malvern Road turn, residents and businesses will be able to see and feel the full benefit of this very important scheme to relieve congestion and visually improve the area.”

Work in the final phase includes completing the southern footway, installing a large drainage tank to hold rain run-off water, replacing kerbs and improved pedestrian crossings.

Highway resurfacing works are planned to be completed at night towards the end of works, weather permitting.

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