Concern that an unsuspecting passer-by could be speared by one of the icy spikes led to the pavement around ten shops on Central Parade being taped off from 11.30am on Tuesday.
Firefighters called to the scene decided it was too risky to knock the icicles down, in case they also brought down the guttering, which was sinking with snow.
They changed their mind, however, returning on Wednesday morning to remove the icicles - without damaging the guttering.
Central Parade Business Partnership chairman Ken Burgess thought the cordon was "the right call".
He added: "We do not want anything to prevent trade but nor do we want our customers to be pierced with a four-foot icicle.
"Dropping from a 40 foot height they could reach quite a speed and have a considerable force."
But shop worker Steve Clements thought society had become "too obsessed with health and safety"
He said: "All they should do is close it off and bang them down and it's done. They are worried about damages but that is the responsibility of the landlords – they should have had the gutters cleaned in the first place."
Shopkeepers said they had been asked by firefighters either to close or put notices on their door warning of the dangers.
Many said the measures had cost them trade.
Mohammed Bhzad, owner of Dylan's Barber, said: "[The cordon] has been a problem, especially for the ladies with buggies who won't come in because of this.
"But I think it is necessary. The icicles are really sharp and could cause death if they fell down."
Booze Bank store worker Rick Bhat, 23, said: "People are still coming in but it is not like before.
"Normally 3pm or 4pm would be busy but not today. People think it is a crime scene or something."
Daring teenager Michael O'Reilly, 17, of King Henry's Drive, was one of a number of shoppers who defied the cordon – to buy fried chicken.
He said: "They are dangerous. I have never seen them that big before."