Hemel Hempstead Old Town High Street 'finally' opens

image captionDacorum Council said the Old Town High Street was "open for business"

A road affected by works where contractors were accused of "putting their feet up" has reopened seven months late.

Started last June, the £1.3m scheme in Hemel Hempstead's Old Town was due to finish in October.

Work was suspended over Christmas after businesses complained they would miss out on trade.

Dacorum Council added some lanterns and gates still needed to be installed but the road was "open for business".

The project to make the High Street one-way, was run by Hertfordshire County Council on behalf of Dacorum Borough Council.

County councillor Terry Douris said: "We are finally finished.

"The road looks great and the businesses, I'm sure, are going to get the benefit of the completed works."

image captionThe Old Town road works were due to be finished last October

Last year, CCTV cameras were installed to check on workers involved in the scheme after traders reported seeing them "with their feet up" and "walking their dogs".

In November the authority agreed to distribute £106,000 in compensation among 50 businesses affected by the works.

Barry Garvin, from Fretts music shop, who said his takings were about 30% down on the previous year, said: "It represents one week's loss.

"They have done a fine job - but they've had enough time to do it. It's now just a matter of the public realising the High Street is open again and hopefully start coming back," he said.

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