TRADERS hit by roadworks in Rawtenstall are using a 12ft billboard, a live street webcam, and a smart phone app to bring customers back to their businesses.

Business owners in Bank Street have taken the proactive steps after becoming concerned that people are avoiding the area because of congestion caused by £7million sewer improvement works.

Alongside works at the junction of St Mary’s Way, United Utilities are also carrying out work on land off the A682 near New Hall Hey Road, Bacup Road near the junction with Bury Road, the Ilex Mill car park, off Fall Barn Road, and the car park in Highfield Road, Waterfoot.

Andrew Thomas, who runs the website I Love Rossendale, said: “Rawtenstall is like a miniature York, it has so much variety and great independent businesses.

“We need to get the message out that even though there are roadworks nearby, the businesses are still trading.

“So we have now created, which is full of useful information about the street and its businesses.

“We’ve got a live webcam on there to show how little traffic there is, and show the businesses.

“We’ve got the smart phone app which pops up with what’s going on in the street as you walk along it.

“And we’ve got the billboard.”

The works are to prevent the sewers filling up quickly during heavy periods of rainfall, and diluted sewage spilling into Limey Water and the River Irwell.

United Utilities has said the company expects the works to go on until January next year.