SHOPKEEPERS fear they could be forced to shut after their street became a construction base.

The traders in Dundas Street, north of Queen Street Station, have slammed Glasgow City Council for allowing building firm Balfour Beatty to place six two- storey portable cabins in the road.

Shopkeeper Bill Paterson said he had contacted the council to complain about the placement of the cabins, which arrived before Christmas.

Mr Paterson said he was afraid some of the new independent businesses on the street would not last the year because the cabins block passing trade and hide the shop fronts from view.

Meanwhile, work in West George Street has also forced the taxi rank to relocate, and dozens of cabs are now parking outside the shops.

Because the cabins and the taxis are blocking the road, delivery drivers cannot get to the shops to replenish stocks. Mr Paterson said there was rubbish on the street for 10 days because the bin lorries could not get into the street.

Asked if business had been affected, the 64-year-old owner of surplus army store Adventure1, said: "Without a doubt. People are not looking in. Some who have come in said, 'I thought you were closed'.

"The two shops at the top have just opened and I am afraid they will be going bust."

On the street there is also a Turkish barber, record shop, tattoo artist, fish and chip restaurant and a dental surgery which, the owner says, cannot open because of the cabins.

The manager of Truva Barbers, Malik Bada, 32, said: "No-one is coming in because the parking spaces are gone and people can't see the shop."

A council spokesman said: "The cabins could not be sited on the west side of the street because safe access to the ScottishPower sub-station has to be maintained.

"The taxis using this section of Dundas Street as a rank are doing so without council permission."

Parking attendants are to be instructed to visit the area regularly, while the Taxi Enforcement Team will also try to keep cabs away.

Stephen Flynn, vice-chairman of Glasgow Taxis Ltd, said: "The rank in Dundas Street is not a working, radio despatch one and is almost entirely used by non-radio drivers not affiliated with Glasgow Taxis."

A Balfour Beatty spokesman said: "We are responsible for the construction of a new building at the top of Buchanan Street.

"As the works are being carried out in a confined city centre site, we consulted the council about feasible locations for our temporary cabins. It was agreed the only workable, safe location was Dundas Street. They will be there until September.

"We are fully committed to working with local proprietors to keep any disruption to a minimum."