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Shows and other businesses in Mere have issued a plea to customers to come and support them as the town undergoes a series of major roadworks in the coming weeks which some fear will give the impression it is closed for business.

Sarah Collins who owns Sprout & Flower, which sells flowers, fruit and vegetables and is based in The Square, Mere, told Gillingham & Shaftesbury News: ‘Please tell everyone that Mere is open for business as usual!’

Starting today, 6 March, there are a series of road closures in and around Mere as council highways staff carry out maintenance work.

Local businesses, however, say they were given little notice of the roadworks which they fear could have a major impact on their trade, and they are planning a series of events to draw people in.

Sarah Collins, who says she will be staying open later in the run up to Mother’s Day on 31 March – the roads are reopened at 3.30pm – says she is worried that passing trade could dry up.

‘It could be absolutely disastrous, it could be a ghost town so we want to get the message out that we are open for business as usual,’ she says.

Traders point out that people from Gillingham, for example, can still access Mere by driving down Bay Road and then turning left onto Shaftesbury Road and into the town that way.

Last Monday Hamish Bell of Mere’s chamber of trade told a meeting of the town council that local businesses were unhappy with the lack of consultation over the road closures, which he said could have a ‘crippling effect’ on local trade.

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