CHARITY shop staff fear their fundraising is being hit by the roadworks in Weymouth.

Workers from the Sue Ryder furniture shop believe the work taking place throughout the town is putting people off driving to their shop and their neighbouring businesses along Abbotsbury Road.

Veronica Leopold, manager at Sue Ryder, is hoping business improves once the work has been completed.

She said: “It’s just a nightmare.

“We are a new shop so we can’t say exactly how much it’s affecting our trade but we know people can’t get to our road.

“You are not going to sit in traffic to go and look in a shop. You’ll just think ‘I’ll leave it.’ “So I’m worried about how all the roadworks are affecting the charity.”

The new Sue Ryder furniture shop opened in June – choosing the site in Abbotsbury Road so that it can offer customer parking.

But Miss Leopold said she feels the roadworks in the town centre have affected their first four months of trade.

She said: “The roadworks must be having some effect.

“We are lucky because we have parking but I worry about raising money for the charity.

“It’s quite worrying because the roads seem to be getting worse and worse.”

Miss Leopold said the roadworks on Swannery Bridge, Boot Hill and at Ferrybridge have also delayed their van drivers out on collections and deliveries.

She said: “We sent our van man to Portland at 3.30pm to drop off furniture and he didn’t get off the island until 6pm.

“It’s just ridiculous.”

A Dorset County Council spokesman said that following the re-opening of Swannery Bridge to two-way traffic much of the problems had eased.

The council’s roadworks bosses have until the end of July next year to finish work on Weymouth’s Transport Package.

This also involves co-ordinating the utility companies’ work.

Wessex Water has been working in the Abbotsbury Road area which meant it could not be accessed by traffic from the Swannery Bridge end.

The bridge itself became one-way on Monday, September 20, to allow for the surface to be waterproofed.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, yesterday stepped into the debate claiming that the town would be left with a worthwhile legacy following the major roads overhaul.

But his intervention was greeted with dismay by businesses, many of which say they are losing thousands of pounds a week because of the chaos.