ENTREPRENEURS whose business has been part of life in Runcorn's Old Town for nearly a decade say regeneration works are forcing them out of the area.
Paul Fenlon and Bernard Lyndski, joint owners of the Old Town Garage business, say traffic has become so bad on High Street their trade is dwindling.
They blame the increased congestion on unfulfilled promises and changes to the road use by Halton Borough Council - and are angry the council has so far failed to offer suitable re-location options or compensation.
Mr Lyndski said: 'We've been here more than nine years and in that time we've never suffered with trade until the last 12 months.'
He said the constant traffic jams on High Street would only become worse once the new access road to Kwik Save was opened almost directly opposite - something he says they were unaware of until road-works had already started.
'Our passing trade is really suffering, because there's nowhere for customers to pull up and come to ask about work,' said Mr Lyndski.'
The partners are now faced with a make or break decision - renew their three year lease on the garage or cut their loses and leave Runcorn.
'We don't want to leave because we've had a cracking little business here,' said Mr Fenlon. 'But we feel we haven't got much choice.'
So far, the two have taken their grievances to Halton Borough Council's complaints department, the Ombudsman, council leader Tony Mc-Dermott and MP Derek Twigg -but so far no satisfactory answers have been reached.
A spokeswoman for the council failed to answer Mr Lyndski and Mr Fenlon's questions about the future for their business - and whether or not they could expect help relocating or compensation for the loss of business. She also insisted plans for the Kwik Save access road had been made public before work went ahead.
She said: 'This work is being carried out in accordance with all of the agreed plans which were subject to extensive consultation with the public.'