RESIDENTS living in Queensfield could lose their newsagent if a controversial diversion stays in place, a shopkeeper has warned.

A 12 month traffic order preventing motorists from turning into Queensfield from Cricklade Road between 7.30am and 9.30am Monday to Friday and turning out of Queensfield on to Cricklade Road between 4.30pm and 6.30pm Monday to Friday started in February.

But since it was put in place, Jeyam Anthony, who has been the owner of Costcutter in Queens-field for three-and-a-half years, has seen takings fall by as much as £400 a day.

“My customers can’t come and go as they could. If my profit is less I don’t mind but I am losing my own money,” he said.

“If the ban continues the shop cannot stay open.”

In April, the council decided to keep the experimental ban in place until at least July despite a petition from nearby residents to stop it.

The council is inviting residents to comment on the diversion before July 20.

They will then review the comments and data with ward councillors to decide whether to lift it or keep it in place.

Mr Anthony said the afternoon part of the ban had damaged his business most.

“When the local people of Penhill come they can’t go back out,” he said. “If I close down I don’t think anybody else would open there. They would lose money. I have been doing my best.

“The area is good and everyone is nice. They support me 100 per cent.”

Mr Anthony, who lives in Queensfield, said the ban also affected him when he takes his children to Isambard Community School and Catherine Wayte Primary School.

“It takes 40 minutes to drive all the way round in the morning,” he said.

Residents say they have been campaigning for years for action, and they believe traffic has worsened because of the opening of Honda, the closure of the exit from A419 into Hyde Road, building in the north of the town and the opening of B&Q. They fear it will get even busier in the future.

Councillor Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton) will be one of the ward councillors helping the council to make a decision about the future of the ban.

“The diversion appears to be a positive step. The residents who have approached me have been in favour,” he said.

“I haven’t been approached by many people who are against it. I would say it has been by far a positive approach. My feeling is it is working but it is a democratic society and we will see how everybody feels.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “Residents have until July 20 to comment on the trial. Council officers will then review the comments and the data from the trial in consultation with ward councillors so an informed decision can be made. Officers will then prepare a report for consideration by the council’s committee system.”