A Burton business owner has spoken of his "grave concerns" for safety after constant traffic jams caused by the closure of St Peter's Bridge continue to blight the town and his livelihood.
Peter Haynes owns Haynes Furnishers, in High Street, a family business which was launched by his father in 1967.
The 45-year-old said the recent closure of one of the town's major bridges has forced him to change his working hours and is already having an impact as customers refuse to venture into the town.
Mr Haynes, who lives in Melbourne, said he "fully understands" that restoration work needs to be done on St Peter's Bridge but the consequences for Burton residents are "appalling."
He said: "My staff are having huge difficulties getting to and from work, as I am sure lots of other businesses in the town centre are experiencing as well.
"However, we have such a good team here that we have moved our standard working hours back by two hours to 7am, so that our delivery vans can get out of Burton before the morning traffic builds up, and then hopefully return just before the evening traffic starts to back up along High Street. Not all businesses, or staff, can do this so for others it must be much, much worse.
"Secondly, and maybe more importantly, is the affect these traffic flows will be having on all businesses in Burton town centre, whether it be retail based or business to business.
"Already potential customers on the phone have been saying that they won't travel into Burton, and representatives of suppliers who we deal with have also called to say they cannot get to our premises and will not be coming to see us on the same timescales as before.
"Fortunately we have a very strong online presence with our network of websites selling and delivering furniture across England and Wales so consumers can still view our ranges this way and order online from us.
"However, for retailers who rely on passing trade, the congestion issue will have much more dire consequences. People will simply not travel into Burton and will go elsewhere such as Swadlincote, Lichfield, Derby and Ashby."
Mr Haynes, said the situation is becoming more and more dangerous as drivers are parking their cars in High Street and blocking the traffic flow in the left hand lane.
He said: "I would like to know what kind of planning has been taken to ease the traffic issues while St Peter's Bridge is closed. Surely the relevant authority should have painted double yellow lines all the way along High Street before work commenced to stop this parking.
"They didn't but they should be doing this now, and send traffic wardens to patrol the area to stop anyone parking in High Street which is simply adding to the congestion."
The work on St Peter's Bridge, which was commissioned by Staffordshire County Council, started on Tuesday, August 29, to replace "life-expired" bearings needed for a safe structure. The works are expected to be completed at the end of November.
Where will traffic be diverted to during the closure of St Peter's Bridge?
For vehicles wishing to travel in an easterly direction the diversion route will be via A5189 Orchard Street, Evershed Way, Shobnall Road, A5121 Wellington Street, Waterloo Street, Byrkley Street, Derby Street, A511 Horninglow Street, Wetmore Road, Bridge Street and A444 Stapenhill Road.
For vehicles wishing to travel in a westerly direction the diversion route will be via A444 Stapenhill Road, A511 Burton Bridge, Bridge Street, Horninglow Street, A5121 Derby Street, Borough Road, Wellington Street, A5189 Shobnall Road, Evershed Way and Orchard Street.
For pedestrians and cyclists the diversion route will be via the newly refurbished and strengthened Ferry Bridge that provides a direct route from Stapenhill to Burton town centre.