Disruption to roads in Haywards Heath have caused further problems for traders as street cones prevented customers and delivery vans from parking near shops.
Last week South East Water placed cones on one side of The Broadway for safety, but business owners were shocked on Monday to see cones on both sides.
However when the Middy contacted South East Water, a spokesman confirmed its staff had made a blunder.
Mark Dyer, owner of Quality fruits on The Broadway, said: “When it was one side of the road it was OK, now they have cornered off the other side to stop people parking.
“Trade is bad enough as it is, we deliver stuff to the nursing home and this is making it difficult. It’s ridiculous.”
A spokesman for South East water said: “The extra cones in The Broadway, Haywards Heath were put out by our contractor accidently following a miscommunication and they were removed shortly after.
“South East Water would like to apologise to the local businesses and residents in The Broadway for any inconvenience this has caused and reassure them that as soon as the mistake was realised action was taken to remove them.”
A set of cones along one side of The Broadway will still remain in place for safety.
Daniel Wood, manager at Haywards Heath Cycle Centre said: “People pull over here for bike repairs, since the work started we’ve had noticeably less business.
“The road is wide enough, it’s over the top.”
Mr Dyer explained that his fruit shop were 60 per cent down on business over the over the weekend.
He said:“It’s definitely affecting us, this is the best time of year, the height of the season, it’s causing a headache.
“It’s going to cripple us,” he added.