A POPULAR restaurant has said it saw takings reduced by over 20 per cent while 'essential' gasworks were carried out in Wylam.

Bistro En Glaze has said that during the six weeks where Northern Gas Networks sealed off Main Road, they lost 22 per cent of their usual income.

It comes after two of the village's publicans blasted the road closures for the major works during the busy summer period.

"The whole main road was closed off and there was a huge trench the width of the front of the restaurant; people thought we were closed and stayed away", said the bistro's co-director Neil Paterson.

He said they 'made a big show of giving us all compensation forms', but then the business was unable to claim any compensation at all.

"Ironically, we have been advised that if we had closed for the six weeks of the roadworks and not offered our employees any work, the figures would then have allowed us to claim compensation," he said.

"This work has affected all the businesses in Wylam at a time when hospitality is on its knees and Northern Gas Networks seem very pleased with themselves that they have paid out nothing.

"This may be ‘playing by the rules' but it seems incredibly immoral and has damaged all our businesses at a time when we can least afford it."

All work is expected to be completed within the next three weeks.

Northern Gas Networks business operations lead Dean Fuller said: “The work being carried out at Wylam is absolutely essential to ensure a continued safe and reliable supply of gas to the community.

"We’re sorry for any disruption caused and are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on customers.

“Our dedicated, on-site community care teams have been liaising closely with businesses in the area throughout the works programme – and they continue to do so.

"We haven’t been made aware of these specific concerns but would urge any business owner to contact us direct at customercare@northerngas.co.uk or call our team on 0800 040 7766 to talk through the options open to them.”