With businesses now open again across Carlisle following the relaxation of lockdown, the arrival of roadworks bringing disruption to Denton Holme has caused concern and anger among shop traders.

Roadworks along Denton Street have been ongoing since the beginning of July, with the road currently closed to allow United Utilities to carry out works to underground water pipes.

With many of Denton Holme's independent businesses found along this street, the disruption has been particularly unwelcome given that most traders are only just finding their feet again following the long period of closure prompted by lockdown.

Louise McCaffery-Thompson runs Rapid Repairs on Denton Street, and has been dismayed at the timing of the roadworks given that she and many others had only been open for two weeks before the roadworks began.

"It's having a massive effect along here," she said.

"This is the worst possible time for something like this to be happening.

"We've all been battling on throughout the period, we've had some help from the Government but most of us here are self-employed, we've not been given a huge amount of help.

"Surely this is something that could have been done either during lockdown, or even earlier when Victoria Viaduct was closed due to the Central Plaza demolition."

Labour county councillor for the Denton Holme ward, Karen Lockney, who has recently met with Denton Holme businesses to discuss this issue, said she understood traders' concerns over the roadworks.

"While business owners are realistic that road works are necessary, I understand their concern that custom may be affected," she said.

"All the more reason why we need people to shop local."

She added that she was keen to make sure details were forthcoming on the progress of the roadworks, and on any delays.

"I'm determined to keep communication open regarding road works, particularly the United Utilities works on Denton Street, holding them to account on the information given about timescales and any delays," she said.

Karen added that it was particularly important at this point in time for residents local to Denton Holme to support the area's independent businesses.

"Please support these amazing businesses as we all get used to the new normal.

"Lockdown helped a lot of us realise how much we value what we have around us, and we need to make sure that we go out of our way to support independent businesses."