WINCHESTER city centre businesses are angry over plans to resurface one of the city's busiest roads.

Traders in St Georges Street say the council should spend money revamping the pedestrian area rather than work on the road.

It will be shut between the Porthouse pub and Jewry Street from approximately 8pm to 7am, from Tuesday May 7 through to Friday, as part of Operation Resilience, the county council programme to improve the road network.

But Miff Kayum, who runs the Bengal Sage restaurant, said it was unnecessary and money should be spent making the street more attractive.

He said: “It's soul destroying and really frustrating. I understand Resilience is a county-wide project but when you are in a recession you have to spend money carefully.

“Where is the accountability? Who made this decision? We could sort out the front here for £50,000 and you would have something that would be pride of place for Winchester.”

Mr Kayum was supported by several other traders. Linda O'Connor, who runs Cafe Centro with husband Ray, said: “We have been waiting for them to do this bit up for 10 years. We want something that will draw the eye as it looks dreary at the moment.”

Simon Jonas, at The New Bibas hair salon, added: “It would be perfect if they did up the decking area, it would bring more people to us and they could put more tables outside the cafes.”

Side roads, St Peter Street, Sutton Gardens, Parchment Street, Upper Brook Street, Middle Brook Street and Cossack Lane will only be accessible from North Walls, converting them into two-way street during the night.

The 'No Entry' signs will be covered and workers will be stationed at the junctions to help with traffic flow.

Residents in Lower Brook Street, Garden Lane, Lawn Street and Tanner Street will be accessible via Friarsgate. But on leaving these roads drivers will have to return to Eastgate Street.

Pedestrian access through St Georges Street will be maintained at all times.

This week some preliminary work will be done on St George's Street starting Monday April 29 between 9.30am and 4pm, with lane closures set to increase congestion on the busy road.