Business owners are counting the cost of construction delays to Auckland Transport's controversial $1.8m bus lane project.

Earlier this month the Herald on Sunday revealed one in 10 roading projects in Auckland was behind schedule, including the bus lane installation on the North Shore's Onewa Road - a notorious congestion area.

AT says it had received "very few complaints about overdue works".

But local business owners have spoken out about the ongoing delays, with one saying his takings were down since work began in December.

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"Revenue is down between 25 and 30 percent. That's quite a bit for a small business," College Dairy owner Gurmeet Singh said.

"I've had to close the shop for two-to-three hours some days while they were doing work right outside and when one delivery came, the guy had nowhere to park, so my freezer was left more than half empty."

Singh was working extra hours in a bid to trim his wages and expenses.

"Usually I would work about 45 hours a week, but I've been working up to 60 hours recently because I can't afford to pay staff. I am working more so that it helps balance my books," he said.

"Auckland Transport has said they are trying to do their best. We told them it's hurting our business and they said they can't do anything about that."

Cheong Ki Yim, owner of the nearby Onewa Liquor Centre, said his turnover had dropped by about 20 per cent.

"I've owned this store for about five years, in that time my business has never been affected it has with this," Ki Yim said.

"Between 4-6pm, when people come home from work, that is my busiest time. So I have been really affected."

Like Singh, he was working extra hours in a bid to trim staff costs.

AT spokesman Mark Hannan said there had been every effort to accommodate local business through the ongoing roadworks. He said parking has always been made available and claimed Singh had actually benefited from the situation.

"The dairy owner gained because the workers on the project supported his business," Hannan said.

When asked whether business who may have suffered lost turnover would be entitled to compensation, Hannan said: "Our role is to maintain the road, any loss of earnings could be an insurance matter [for the businesses]."

Regular mail drops to locals have included apologies from AT for any inconvenience caused.

The Onewa Road project was originally scheduled for completion on February 28. Notices delivered to locals now say work could continue to April 3.

- Herald on Sunday