SEAFRONT roadworks due to end today will continue until the end of July – if not longer.
Council chiefs admitted last night repairs to the arches beneath King’s Road following the collapse above The Fortune of War pub in Brighton will continue for at least four weeks.
They have also for the first time revealed the reason for the collapse as “historic alterations to premises in the arches”.
The news of another four weeks of roadworks will mean more misery for tourists and seafront traders who initially thought today would spell the end of the problem.
Brighton and Hove City Council gave an estimate of eight weeks in April but last month admitted they did not know when the works would be complete.
The collapse took place on April 25, after rubble fell through into the pub’s back room.
Businesses say the works have been “devastating” for trade.
A spokesman for Little Bay restaurant, based right next to the area where the collapse took place, said: “The effects of this incident on our restaurant have been devastating.
“Our restaurant has suffered a massive loss of sales as customers are avoiding the area. It is ruining our business.”
The Fortune Of War’s assistant manager, Aaron Kemp, said he feared the works would continue for longer for four weeks.
He said: “I personally think the works could last about eight weeks.”
The pub’s landlord Laurence Hill previously told The Argus the last works on the arches were carried out “in the days of horse and cart”.
Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour and Co-operative group on the council, said: “The Greens running the council need to get the area cleaned up so that residents and tourists are not put off visiting seafront businesses.”
The council’s executive director for environment, development and housing Geoff Raw said: “We’ve now completed a full investigation and due to the very complex nature of the repairs we have revised our best estimation for finishing the work to the end of July.”
Currently, drivers travelling westbound on the A259 cannot turn up West Street and the road down from the Clock Tower is closed.
Meanwhile, the Unchain The Brighton Motorist group is concerned about roadworks on Edward Street in Brighton, which are due to end this November.