TRADERS on Abergavenny's Frogmore Street have complained that their footfall is suffering because of the town's new traffic system.

One business owner estimates his evening trade has dropped by as much as 40 per cent since the road was pedestrianised at the end of the summer.

Instead of encouraging more shoppers to walk through this part of town, the traders argue the lack of parking spaces and the removal of a bus stop has had the opposite impact, leaving their shops deserted.

Several unhappy traders met with Monmouth MP David Davies on Saturday, December 1, to discuss the problem.

They said their businesses were first impacted by the months of roadworks as construction was taking place, followed by a complete absence of drop-in shoppers now that cars have been banned from Frogmore Street.

Andrew Ewers, who owns the Codfather fish and chip shop on Frogmore Street, was one of the traders who shared their concerns with Mr Davies.

Speaking to the Free Press this week, Mr Ewers said: "We've had a lot of trade over the years, but getting to [my shop] now is a hell of a journey.

"There are no buses coming down here. It's horrendous – the shops are just dying."

Mr Ewers said he had been told previously by somebody from the county council that the mechanised bollards which currently seal off Frogmore Street to traffic would be lowered after 4pm, but this has not materialised.

"My night [takings] have gone down by 30 or 40 per cent since this system came in," Mr Ewers added. "We are really struggling here.

"If people come now for a takeaway, it's a real journey to get here so people aren't doing it.

"There are four or five chip shops in Abergavenny, so if people have got the option to go somewhere else, they will."

Mr Ewers said he had a lot of older regular customers who had stopped visiting Frogmore Street because the bus stop had been removed.

"They're telling me they can't get to me because it's too hard," he said.

Mr Ewers said he and his fellow business owners had suggested at the meeting with Mr Davies several solutions to their woes.

These included re-opening the street to traffic in the afternoons, or introducing 10-minute parking bays which would be convenient for shoppers who needed to pop into town for one or two items.

When news of the Saturday meeting was shared on a popular local Facebook page, many people sympathised with the group of traders, saying the removal of the bus stop was particularly damaging to businesses on Frogmore Street.

But there were also residents who defended the pedestrianisation of the street. One man said that he was now a regular visitor to the street which he once avoided because the amount of cars were unsuitable for his children.

Another said pedestrianisation made for a more friendly experience for the majority of shoppers.

Monmouthshire County Council said it had recently been awarded Welsh government funding to extend the pedestrianisation scheme, which would include a new bus stop on the A40 near the Tesco supermarket.

The council will also meet with the Abergavenny Town Team on Thursday, December 13, to outline proposals for the scheme.