PARTS of Coulsdon high street will be shut for three weeks while Croydon council fixes a bungled paving project.
The authority plans to close Brighton Road in the town centre in sections during the day while it repairs the crumbling central paving strip.
A spokesman said on Tuesday that residents were due to receive a letter "shortly" telling them of the disruption due, between January 28 and February 18, from 7.30am to 9pm.
Traders have criticised the short-notice works, which they fear will deter shoppers from visiting the town.
Vijay Upadhyaya, owner of Marsh's Stationers in Brighton Road, said: "That is very bad timing, because that is when Valentine's Day is coming and we are going to lose trade.
"A couple of years ago, when they were putting the paving in, we all struggled.
"I have not had a letter or any information, nothing at all."
The road will be closed in sections of 100 to 150 metres at a time, "with every effort made to maintain access to premises", a council spokesman said.
Gary Beckett, owner of Advanced Print, also in Brighton Road, said: "It needs to be done, but they did not consult the traders and there was no public meeting or anything.
"If they close the road there will be no customers and we are already struggling after Christmas.
"They should have found out from the traders when their quietest days are."
The paving strip is being replaced with asphalt, after the stones started cracking and sinking into the ground.
They were laid as part of the £3million town centre improvement works that got under way in 2009, funded by Transport for London.
The Advertiser revealed last year the paving had cost around £350,000, not including design costs.
Diversions will be routed via The Avenue, where parking restrictions will be put in place so wider vehicles can pass.
A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "This is to allow essential work to be carried out to the central strip, which needs to be replaced with a material that will require less future maintenance.
"We have planned this project so that access to shops remains as easy as possible.
"By working on the road in sections we will keep disruption to individual premises to an absolute minimum."
Transport for London (TfL) said the bus routes affected by the work would be the 60, 166, 404, 405, 434, 463 and N68.
A TfL spokesman said it is still in the process of working out diversion routes and they would be finalised before the work starts.