HARD-HIT Paddington traders are demanding compensation for lost business after water works closed a road for three months.
Shopkeepers are blaming a drop in trade on water works carried out in Craven Road by Thames Water.
Anil Pankhania, of Euro Food and Wine, believes business in his shop has slumped by around 30 per cent, compared to last year.
He said: "We're normallyvery busy in the evenings and weekends, but people have been put off coming here because of the works.
"It's mainly because it looks like the place has been bombed.
"People can't cross the road to get to our shop, so they just don't bother.
"We're looking at getting some kind of compensation back, hopefully there is a way we can claim."
Fellow trader Freddie Gaygusuz, who works at EF's café and sandwich shop, added his concerns.
He said: "A lot of traders in the area have seen business go down a lot. The faces I used to serve just aren't coming back.
"Customers are finding they have to go the long way round to get to the shop, which is putting people off."
The water works in Craven Road form part of a larger Thames Water project to replace Victoria water mains with new plastic pipes in the Paddington area.
Under the project, Thames Water aims to replace around eight miles of iron mains by April next year.
She added: "We appreciate that work of this nature does bring inevitable disruption and we apologise to local residents and businesses for any inconvenience these works may have caused.
"Replacing the water mains in this area has been extremely challenging because of the vast array of other pipes and cables in the ground.
"The proximity of the tube has made our task even more complex.
"We are working closely with Westminster Council to ensure that wherever possible, disruption is kept to a minimum."
A Thames Water spokeswoman said businesses wanting to make a claim for compensation against the company should call 0845 9200800.