A group of Bognor Regis business owners fear roadworks will cost them their livelihoods.
Essential work in Hawthorn Road is due to start on Monday (October 17) and continue until December 19, and, as a result, a large section of the road will be closed to traffic.
Vladi Hadzhiev, who owns the Barbers Network and has been building up his business for the past two years, slammed the work which he said would kill his trade.
He said: “It seems nobody cares if all these shops go out of business.
“They don’t seem to understand what these roadworks will do to trade, especially during the three months before Christmas.”
Simon Growcott took over the Music Workshop in January.
“We struggled on all year in this difficult climate to get to Christmas, the time when we make the majority of our money, but now we won’t be able to do that,” he said. “It is despicable.”
The businesses, situated in the busy road, will stay open during the works.
Southern Gas Networks (SGN) project manager Steve Cooke, who is in charge of the scheme, said: “The work in Hawthorn Road forms part of our ongoing mains replacement programme to maintain the safety and reliability of the gas supply network.
“The work is essential, as the iron gas main and services have come to the end of their useful life.
“We will be closing the road in sections between junctions, but diversion signs will be in place.
“All our work is being carried out in close consultation with West Sussex County Council and we will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption.”
SGN has a compensation scheme in place for businesses which suffer loss of trade due to works, he added.