Angry traders have hit out after a TV screen used as part of Braintree’s biggest Christmas event cut them off from the festivities.

The large television screen was positioned near the high street’s junction with Sandpit Lane as part of the Christmas lights switch-on and market launch on Saturday.

But traders were left feeling ignored and neglected after claiming the screen hindered trade.

Stuart Buckley, owner of The Boars Head in Braintree High Street, said: “Last year we worked together with the town team to put on a brilliant show.

“I told the council that we couldn’t do the same again as I am suffering from health problems at the moment.

“They have taken that as we do not want to be part of any of it. Everyone down here has suffered and that is just not fair.

“The town is not just Market Square, this is the town too.”

Traders felt the placement of the screen meant shoppers were put off visiting businesses towards the fountain near St Michael’s Church, as the giant television created a physical barrier on the high street.

Mr Buckley said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is one of the best days of the year usually, but this cost us more than £2,000 in trade compared to last year.

“I do not want an argument, I don’t feel up to it. I just want to run my pub and feel I am getting a fair crack of the whip.

“It is not the money that is the issue, it is the fact that once again we have been neglected down here.

“I am wondering whether it is worth doing business in Braintree and I wonder how many other businesses feel the same.”

A video of Mr Buckley and other traders expressing their concerns during the event has been seen more than 27,000 times.

Charles Charalambous, owner of Vapours, said: “Saturdays are our best days of the week anyway, especially around Christmas time, but the road was closed and the television’s placement was stopping people from coming down here.

“I do not understand how we always get neglected. We are part of the town yet we are forgotten in a way.”

Marion Horsley, owner of Shake Express, said there had been a breakdown in communication.

She said: “We went to a lot of effort to take part. We brought two members of the family in to help out for the day and we applied for a temporary alcohol licence for the day but we had periods when nobody was in here.”

A spokesman for Braintree District Council said: “The aim of the big screen was to bring people to the fountain end of the High Street however we take on board the feedback from traders about its position but that shouldn’t detract from a successful Christmas launch which residents can enjoy every Saturday until Christmas weekend.

“The big screen will not be part of the other Christmas market days”

But it wasn’t the only problem on the day as Christmas lights planned for the High Street and Rayne Road were not ready for the launch event.

Braintree Council apologised to those who were disappointed and confirmed they will be up and running as soon as possible.