TRADERS whose businesses suffered during construction work on the Heads of the Valleys road say they are still waiting for financial support.

The project to widen the A465 in northern Gwent has led to frequent road closures and disruption, hitting footfall on high streets from Brynmawr to Gilwern.

Senedd member Peter Fox said the Welsh Government had "reassured" affected traders they would be given financial support to mitigate any losses to trade caused by the roadworks.

But some traders in the area say such help is yet to arrive.

Fay Bromfield is the co-owner of Gilwern-based butchers Bromfields. She said: "The Welsh Government promised us financial support, but this has been broken.

"Admittedly, the Welsh Government once sent representatives to meet with us, but they were the wrong officials – it was a classic example of the left hand not knowing what the right was doing.

“We have endured so much worry and anxiety, and it’s worse still because there is no ending in sight."

She added: "The road closures have hit our business, as well as countless others, and we desperately need the compensation so we can use it to try to encourage lost customers back to our business."

Another trader, Desmond Rogers, of the Brynmawr-based shoe business Rogers, echoed those calls.

He said: "My 102-year-old business is long standing, but even we were hit by the road closures. Other businesses are in a worse position and that’s why I want the Welsh Government to honour its word and help businesses in this area."

Construction work on the A465 roadworks in northern Gwent began in late 2014, with the aim of widening the road to two lanes in each direction. The government notes the road is "critical to the social and economic regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys area" and said the widening project would "improve access to key services, jobs and markets".

But for business owners living near the A465, a flurry of road closures and traffic diversions has had a significant impact on footfall, including in Brynmawr, where last year traders told the Argus the town was "fighting for its survival".

Such complaints have reached the Senedd, and Mr Fox - who represents the Monmouth constituency for the Welsh Conservatives - said the "distressing situation" for businesses would "require all stops to be pulled out to solve".

"We’ve seen enough erosion of our high streets, without the additional damage caused by work on the A465," he added. "It’s now incumbent upon the Welsh Government to sort out its act and get businesses back onto their feet."

The Welsh Government was asked to comment on the traders' concerns and set out its plan for providing financial support.