A Sidmouth trader has expressed ‘absolute disbelief’ that a town centre car park was apparently closed for two days in the week before Christmas.

Chris Parkyn of Housewares on the High Street said he arrived at work on Monday, December 20 to see a ‘Road Closed sign being put up at the entrance to Russell Street, which leads to the Roxburgh car park, and another notice saying the car park was closed.

He said he was told it was for resurfacing work on Mill Street that could not be rescheduled.

Chris posted a photo of the signs on Facebook with the comment: “Where is the support for the local business in what has been a hard year?”

He told the Herald: “I’m just in absolute disbelief that anyone could authorise this four days before Christmas, when it’s a key crucial trading period for the town.”

He added that, while some local residents and the Swan Inn had received a letter about the roadworks, he and the owners of other nearby businesses including Winchesters Butchers had not.

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said: “Residents and traders in Mill Street were notified in advance of the resurfacing and the arrangements for access.

“There have also been staff on site who have ensured access has been available for businesses on High Street that have delivery access on Russell Street, which is not being surfaced, but is accessed from Mill Street.

“The Roxburgh car park has been accessible throughout the two-day scheme, and only the small short stay car park of approximately 20 spaces opposite the Swan Inn could not be accessed during the resurfacing as it is in the middle of the site. It was felt that the loss of these 20 spaces for two days would not substantially affect the overall parking situation in the town.”

However, Chris said the whole Roxburgh car park had been empty during the two days of the resurfacing work, and added: “If the car park was accessible, why were the signs put across the road so that you couldn’t access the car park?”