A Kimbolton businessman has persuaded transport chiefs to delay the start of road works outside his shop after fears it would have been a “financial hammer blow” for Christmas trading in the village.

Charles Robinson, who opened the Budgens store in Thrapston Road in March, told The Hunts Post he had not received any prior correspondence from Cambridgeshire County Council about the impending resurfacing work and was shocked to discover warning signs about the impending road project had been erected last week.

He said the timing of the road works, in the run-up to Christmas, would have been a huge blow to his business, which employs 16 people, and also other traders who are relying on the boost from Christmas sales.

"This has been a huge investment and we were looking forward to our first Christmas trading," he said.

"Making businesses work in rural locations is difficult at the best of times, and in retail especially so. The weeks leading up to Christmas should be very busy for all of us and the vital extra sales help make up for quieter periods.

Mr Robinson wrote to the county council urging them to delay the start of the work until February next year. He also contacted Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly and county councillor for Kimbolton, Peter Downes outlining his concerns.

A few days later he received a reply from the Highways Department at Cambridgeshire County Council informing him that the resurfacing work would be delayed until after Christmas.

"I am relieved that the county council have seen sense and that this has not turned into a battle. The traders in Kimbolton need the extra sales in the run-up to Christmas."

A CCC spokesman said: "We have listened to concerns around timings of this vital repair works and postponed them. The road is in a bad state of repair and needs resurfacing. These works have already been postponed twice and we were trying to fit them in when the school is off because of the traffic. The plan is to resurface one end of the village at a time to maintain access but once we had been contacted by the parish council we agreed to delay the works."