Sidley is “seriously suffering” the impact of link road construction work with residents and traders alike angry and had enough.
Traffic hold-ups, lengthy delays and road closures have meant a daily grind when travelling through the village and many are avoiding it altogether.
Margaret Cullingworth emailed the Observer to say: “A great many people in Sidley are extremely unhappy and worried.”
A public meeting will be held this afternoon at Sidley Baptist Church from 3.30pm attended by MP Greg Barker and county councillor Michael Ensor.
Trader Jay Carroll has already written to Cllr Ensor on behalf of local businesses to highlight the problems they face. He criticised closure of two bridges at the same time and believes traffic flow could be better managed.
He said: “Businesses are suffering. There has been massive negative impact. I understand the road work has to be done but I do feel from a selfish point of view they could have waited to do the second bridge when the other had reopened. There’s been a lack of commonsense and a lack of communication.”
He believes there is “no doubt” local businesses have suffered with customers staying away: “Some are really suffering, seriously suffering, and it is worrying,” he said.
“We haven’t got a lot of empty shops now, which is wonderful to say, and suddenly we looked to be in a stronger position in Sidley - but that could all go.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We do appreciate that these works have caused disruption to residents and businesses in Sidley but would ask people to bear with us while we complete this essential work on the Link Road, which will ultimately reduce congestion and improve traffic flow in and around this area.
“Before work can start on the main demolition and reconstruction of Ninfield Road bridge we have to move two large sewer pipes, three water mains, two electricity cable and several telecommunications cables that go across the bridge.
“This is complex work but through careful planning with the utility companies our contractor has managed to reduce the original timescale for these works from 13 to eight weeks.
“We have reviewed the phasing of traffic lights to minimise waiting times and the lights are manned at peak times with on-site teams monitoring traffic queues at other times of the day. We have also improved signage to make sure it’s clear to drivers that businesses in Sidley remain open as usual.
“We will continue to keep local residents and businesses informed, to take on board their concerns and to do whatever we can to minimise disruption.”