Camelford sewer works overrun, says South West Water
Sewer repair works in a Cornish town will overrun by two weeks to the dismay of local businesses.
Fore Street in Camelford has been closed to traffic since 3 October when South West Water (SWW) started repairs.
Terry Tague, former chair of the Chamber of Commerce said firms were suffering and "it had killed the town".
The road will remain closed until 9 December. The firm said the complexity of the project had caused it to overrun and it apologised to businesses.
Mr Tague said: "People who used to shop here aren't any more... pubs and shops are empty and some businesses have gone part-time".
Kerri Lang, from Visions hairdressers in Fore Street, said: "There's been a big reduction in trade... we hope work picks up before Christmas."
Donation 'is peanuts'
A company spokesperson said the water company had donated £1,000 towards the town's Christmas celebrations to apologise.
Mr Tague said: "It's [the donation] peanuts... people have lost lots of money during these works".
A spokesperson from SWW said it was "doing everything it could to get trade into the town".
Work has overrun because other utility pipes and large amounts of concrete were found near to the water pipes, which were unexpected, they added.
Project manager Stephen Cross said: "We would like to apologise to our customers in Camelford for this unavoidable delay and reassure them that we are working to complete the scheme as quickly as possible, including bringing in extra staff and working on Sundays."
The company added it would not normally provide compensation for essential works.
Nearly 300m (984ft) of sewer pipes will be relined or replaced as part of a £42m programme by SWW to improve its sewerage network.