BEAR with us! That's the plea from highways bosses as major roadworks start to cause long delays along Crewe's busiest road.
Work on a £2m revamp of the A534 Nantwich Road is under way and traders who objected to the scheme at the outset are furious at their loss of takings.
They say passing trade has been badly hit by the first phase of the scheme to install parking bays which has involved digging deep trenches outside shops.
The Government-funded project will see cycle lanes, parking bays, raised crossings and a 20mph speed limit along the route from its junction with Smallman Road and Mill Street.
There will be raised crossings to slow down traffic in side streets and the whole area will be brightened up with paving, lighting, street sculptures and trees.
With the works set to last at least until August, there is concern over livelihoods.
Bernard Meadows, the proprietor of Carpet Supermarket, said: 'To install speed bumps on the main road between Crewe and Nantwich is insanity.
'The road is heavily congested during the rush hour and it can take half an hour to get from one side to the other. This will only make it worse.
Jillian Arram, who owns Uncle Sam's Fried Chicken, was one of the first to object to the scheme unveiled last summer. She said: 'Some traders are saying takings are down by 40%.
'We've never supported the scheme and just wish more people had spoken up early.'
Solicitor Keith Cutler branded the scheme 'a joke.' He said: 'Nantwich Road is constantly bottle-necked. It remains quicker to drive from Nantwich and Willaston to Festival Park in Stoke than travel to the retail parks in Crewe.'
Cheshire highways chiefs say the scheme was given the thumbs up by 83% of people during a lengthy consultation.
Spokesman Andrew Ross said: 'We met with traders at The Earl pub on February 24 to outline how the works would pan out and are keeping in touch with them through site operators.
'Every reasonable step is being undertaken to minimise inconvenience.'
'Pedestrian access has been maintained throughout the works so far.
'We are doing all we can. The scheme will bring a vast improvement and we just hope local people will bear with us.'