TRADERS in Alva say they are continuing to count the cost of improvement works in the town with more road closures to come.

Disgruntled shop owners have spoken out over Stirling Street improvement works which hit trade last year when four weeks of weekend road closures went ahead as part of plans to regenerate and refurbish the village's main stretch.

Recently, temporary traffic lights have returned to the town to allow repairs to the high voltage network following a fault on Monday, May 22.

The works are unrelated to the previous improvements, however, Clackmannanshire Council has confirmed that several pieces of road infrastructure put in place last year, including two islands, have been replaced with surfacing patches following a material failure.

Works to rectify the issue will mean more road closures and diversions on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, or the following weekend if the weather is bad.

All the while, shopkeepers say trade has never really returned to the village, located on the A91 between Stirling and St Andrews, since last year's upheaval.

David Hunter, who runs Day today in Alva, told the Advertiser: “We've been told that [in June] they are going to completely close the road at the weekend again – like they did before.

“They've dug out the islands in the road – they had put these silly wee islands in there which was absolutely crazy, they've dug them out now because they were collapsing.

“It's a bit of a fiasco.”

David went on to say the damage has already been done last year when the town was closed for four weekends.

He said: “A lot of the trade has never come back because people change their habits going to and from work and every trader up the street will tell you that trade has never picked up to pre-roadwork levels.”

David's woes were echoed by butcher Andrew Sinclair, who highlighted issues with the narrow width of the new road, uneven pavement slabs, lack of parking opportunities and more.

Andrew told the Advertiser: “The trade's dropped by about 25 per cent from before, they've said they'd give the town more parking spaces which is very hard to believe if you look outside there.

“It's a main A road from Stirling to Fife, I don't know why they tried to calm the traffic down, it's a main trunk road and they've put a chicane down here and up the road last year and they've taken it away already because it was sinking.”

While thoughtful improvements would be welcome, the butcher added: “It's a pass-through town but they are trying to turn it into something it's not.”

The temporary traffic lights in place at the time of writing last week relate to a power issue with SP Energy Networks contractors fixing the issue over night – this is not related to the previous improvement works and is not being carried out by Clackmannanshire Council or its contractors.

However, the local authority has confirmed material faults have led to issues and apologised for any inconvenience to come.

A spokesperson said: “The island detail has failed at both locations and have been replaced with simple surfacing patches.

“The red surfacing material used on the raised tables at the Brook Street and Queen Street junctions with Stirling Street has failed too unfortunately and must be replaced.

“This work will be fully funded by our suppliers due to this early failure.

"The works will be programmed with the necessary road closure and diversion routes in place. These are due to take place on Saturday, June 17, and Sunday, June 18.

“If bad weather prevents the works being completed over this weekend, works will have to continue on June 24 and 25.

“We apologise for any convenience caused and thank residents and business owners for their continued patience.”

Jackie McKenzie, manager at Bayne's in Alva, added: “It's really affecting business and the worst thing about it is it's done nothing for parking, nothing."

She concluded: “We are enthralled by the amount of money put into this lovely street – it's just a shame you can't get up or down it.”