CONTROVERSIAL roadworks that have hit Stourport traders are set to finish on Thursday - a week earlier than expected.

There have been road closures in the Gilgal area for the past month while engineers replaced a range of essential utility services.

The Gilgal is due to re-open at 6am Thursday after the work - originally planned to last five weeks - was completed ahead of schedule.

Severn Trent say the work was finished early because the road closure allowed all agencies to work at the same time.

The work has included Severn Trent renewing a water main, Central Networks replacing underground electricity supplies and Worcestershire County Council improving street lighting.

Stourport traders have been demanding compensation for loss of trade during the work, which they say has deterred people from visiting the town.

Aleksandar Krstic, of SOS Animal charity shop in Lombard Street, said: “Our life blood at the shop is the generous donations of the kind people of Stourport and the surrounding areas.

“These have virtually dried up due to the belief that Stourport is completely inaccessible and unlike other charity shops we have no national network of shops to cushion this problem.

“We only have one shop and it will take us months after the roadworks are completed to build up the stock and trade again."

Fraser Pithie, senior operations manager for Severn Trent, said he “would like to thank traders and customers for their support and patience”, adding: “We listened to the needs of the community when planning these works.”

The third and final phase of the works in Stourport will start on Thursday, with Mitton Street being reduced to one lane for up to four weeks.

The works have been bought forward from Monday, October 26 after the Gilgal works ended early.