BUSINESS owners say they are in a “desperate” situation after the closure of the B4069 at Lyneham was extended by a year.

The road has been shut since February 2022 when a landslip caused serious damage to the road, which buckled up to four feet in places, making it impassable and “extremely dangerous”.

Wiltshire Council hoped to reopen the road by autumn 2023 but a recent newsletter suggests work won't begin until spring 2024.

The closure has had a significant impact on businesses who suffered a huge reduction in passing trade, as motorists are diverted through Bradenstoke.

This has been worsened by the decision to make the diversion through Clack Hill one way, forcing people to take a lengthy detour to reach Lyneham from Dauntsey Lock.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Clack Hill has been made into a one way road.Clack Hill has been made into a one way road. (Image: Newsquest)

Mohammed Akhter, director of used car garage Motorholics, which is located within the closed stretch of road, is desperate for the B4069 to reopen.

He said: “Our business is massively affected by the road closure. It is already bad because this was a very busy road and we have lost all our passing trade.

“Now 100 per cent of our customers come from online and even that is affected because people think we are closed because of the road.

“People see the road is closed and don’t understand how to get here - that is a massive problem. We are more than desperate… it’s a nightmare.”

On the other side of the closure sits the Peterborough Arms, which landlord Brendan Watkins described as “the pub at the end of the road”.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Peterborough Arms is just yards from the road closure.The Peterborough Arms is just yards from the road closure. (Image: Newsquest)

“The delay is a disaster for us”, he said. “It’s been over 12 months of an absolute nightmare now.

“We’ve lost a good 40 or 50 per cent of our pre-Covid trade because we lost a lot of passing trade off the road.

“People from Lyneham can get to us, but they can’t get back through Bradenstoke, so it’s had a detrimental affect on the business as a whole.”

Mr Watkins also lost around half his staff because of the time and money it costs them to get to and from work.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Peterborough Arms.The Peterborough Arms. (Image: Wilts & Berks Canal Trust)

He feels abandoned by the council, who apologised for "any inconvenience this causes local people" but emphasised that fixing the road was a "huge engineering undertaking."

He added: “Everybody around here is very upset and feelings are high because the council haven’t done their bit.

“The signage for businesses has been appalling and the road hasn’t been started so it’s just a bunch of broken promises.

“We’re a dead end now… it’s had a really bad affect on the local economy full stop."