A KNUTSFORD-based business lobby group has criticised Cheshire East Council for letting the town centre’s roads deteriorate so badly.

The Forum of Private Business, on Drury Lane, has said the council is in danger of damaging businesses in the town by creating a no car zone with its failure to maintain key access roads to an adequate level.

The small business support group says many town centre roads currently sport vehicle-damaging potholes, with King Street – the town’s main through road – rapidly breaking up. It is calling for an urgent review by council highways engineers to remedy the situation across the town.

“Cheshire East should be ashamed of the way they’ve let the roads get so out of hand,” said Phil Orford, the Forum’s chief executive.

“We may have had a few cold snaps recently which speeds up the rot, but it should never have been allowed to get as bad in the first place.

“ ‘A stitch in time’, as the old adage goes.

“High street traders rely on customers being able to get in to town, and if people don’t want to visit because the roads are so poor, this has to be damaging for business.

“There must be a lot of rate-paying shopkeepers pulling their hair out when they see the state of the roads – King Street is in particularly poor shape.

“Our research shows most firms think they’re getting a raw deal with business rates, and certainly in Knutsford they’re not wrong.

“Maybe the Chancellor should take a stroll down King Street next time he’s in town and see if he thinks businesses are wrong.”