HIGH street traders are warning the traffic chaos seen in recent weeks could have a serious impact on business in Halstead.

Temporary traffic lights and road closures have left motorists stuck in large queues throughout the town.

The closure of Parsonage Street last week forced motorists to join already large tailbacks on the A131, which runs directly through Halstead High Street.

Temporary traffic lights on Mount Hill and Trinity Street have caused further misery for drivers and some have reported delays of up to 40 minutes during the morning and evening rush hour.

With the site of queueing cars becoming more frequent throughout the town, traders have issued a stark warning that they face losing customers if the delays continue.

Ann Hume, of the long serving Hume’s Bakery, said: “You can’t seem to go anywhere in Halstead at the moment without getting held up.

“People will stop coming into this town if they constantly get caught in traffic. All the motorists are complaining but what about all of the shops and businesses?

“Trading is hard enough these days without all of this. People will just start doing their shopping in Braintree or Sudbury if they keep getting held up. No one wants to sit in traffic for hours just to do their shopping.”

Other town traders have also admitted they fear the impact of the regular gridlock on the roads.

Sevil Blacklaws, owner of Willow and Grey, revealed her shop endured a tough week when a burst water main closed Parsonage Street.

She said: “It has been an absolutely dire week since the road was closed. It’s been absolutely awful.

“We had a really good week before and then they put up the traffic lights on Trinity Street and that really made an impact. I don’t know whether the traffic is linked but I have heard others say it has been dire.

“The other problem is not having any crossings on this side of the High Street. The other side is really busy but a lot of people don’t come up this way, especially the elderly, because they can’t get across the road. They’re putting their lives at risk when there is so much traffic.”

Despite some business owners stating the increasing congestion seen on Halstead’s roads has already had an impact on trading, others downplayed the problem.

10 Outta 10 owner Scott Rogers said: “Halstead has no rhyme or reason when it comes to business.

Some weeks will be great and others will be quiet. We’ve had quite a good week to be honest and haven’t really struggled.”

Temporary traffic lights set up on Mount Hill as part of the construction of the Oakwood Hill development will remain in place until November 10.