TRADERS and drivers will soon be celebrating an early end to roadworks chaos in Holmfirth.
Businesses in Victoria Street have suffered since gas distribution firm Transco started a £40,000 scheme to replace piping on February 23.
However, temporary traffic lights have now been removed and Transco says the work should end at Easter - three weeks earlier than planned.
The early finish comes despite encountering problems on the site, including negotiating a tunnel workers found running across Victoria Street, inches under the road surface.
Royston Rogers, former president of the Holme Valley Business Association, has been liaising with Transco on behalf of Holmfirth. He said the firm had done its best to avoid disruption.
"They wanted to dig roads up last summer, but we asked if they would wait until February," he said. "They have kept us informed, so people know what's going on. We have done it with co-operation not confrontation."
Transco has also given £250 to the Holmfirth Christmas lights fund.
Polly Rourke, communications adviser for Transco, said: "We wanted to thank local people, particularly traders, for their patience during the work."
Mr Rogers hopes visitors will return to Holmfirth now.
"It has been a bit of a nightmare but it had to be done," he said. "People have stayed away but now they can come back with a vengeance."
Mr Rogers hopes the same spirit of co-operation will help with Yorkshire Water's sewerage improvement work, at Huddersfield Road and New Mill Road in Honley and in Brockholes.
Work to build a back-up storage tank at Heys Road in Thongsbridge is also under way. The aim is to prevent flooding which washes effluent into local watercourses.
Mr Rogers said Transco and Yorkshire Water had been co-operative, but criticised Kirklees Council. Resurfacing work is being done by the council on Penistone Road and New Mill Road. It is due to end on April 30.
"They don't have to pay compensation to businesses like Transco do, so there is no communication," he said. "They couldn't go any slower. They close roads early, they send traffic round massive diversions to get to Holmfirth - then you see the roads closed and no-one there working."
A spokeswoman for the council said the work involved widening the A635 and could only be done safely if the road was shut. All closures were at weekends and the final closure would be from April 2 to 4. She said roads were reopened as soon as work ended.
"Unfortunately the only suitable alternative diversion route for this work is lengthy. We are well aware of the disruption caused. We are working as quickly as possible to complete the scheme. We also write and talk regularly to the residents."