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'It's driving us mad' - village residents slam repeated roadworks

PUBLISHED: 16:37 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:37 08 November 2019

Norwich Road in Hethersett is operating under a three way traffic light system due to roadworks. Photo: Bethany Wales

Norwich Road in Hethersett is operating under a three way traffic light system due to roadworks. Photo: Bethany Wales

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Residents in a Norfolk village say they are being driven mad by repeated bouts of roadworks.

People in Hethersett said customers are avoiding the village due to roadworks on Norwich Road. Photo: Linda WilgressPeople in Hethersett said customers are avoiding the village due to roadworks on Norwich Road. Photo: Linda Wilgress

People living in Hethersett, which has seen hundreds of days worth of roadworks in the last two years, thought they could breathe a sigh of relief as a recent "chaotic" road closure came to an end.

But just days after temporary traffic lights which caused delays along the B1172 were removed, a new set of lights and roadworks were installed just metres further along the Norwich Road.

READ MORE: Staff sent home early as customers avoid village due to traffic 'mayhem'

The previous road closure - which lasted from September to November - was due to a county council scheme to install a new cycle lane, as part of the council's Transforming Cities project.

Norwich Road in Hethersett is operating under a three way traffic light system due to roadworks. Photo: Bethany WalesNorwich Road in Hethersett is operating under a three way traffic light system due to roadworks. Photo: Bethany Wales

But the current gas works, which are being carried out by Cadent, involve the maintenance of the verges and highways, and are set to last until December.

But residents have said ongoing traffic issues are "painful" and hit out at the constant delays as "some kind of social experiment".

One resident said: "After two months of painful three-way controlled traffic light roadworks, we finally thought it was all over.

"But no, just days after they finished the cycle lane roadworks another set of roadworks and traffic lights has appeared literally metres down the road.

"It is driving us mad."

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And Paul Hargrave posted on All Things Hethersett, a Facebook community group, and said: "I've said this before but I am convinced Hethersett is subject to some kind of social experiment.

"The experiment being how much roadworks on the same road will it take before people lose the plot."

But the manager at Church Farm Shop, which was forced to send staff home early during the previous set of roadworks, which were directly outside the shop, said the gas works weren't affecting businesses, as they were further away from the shops.

A spokesperson for the county council said: "The current roadworks in Hethersett are to facilitate a new gas supply to a property, which utility companies have a legal obligation to provide to their customers as soon as practicably possible.

"Minimising disruption by working collaboratively with the recent Transport for Norwich roadworks was explored but this was not feasible due to the distance between the two sets of works."

And a spokesperson for Cadent added: "We're installing new gas mains and service pipes in Norwich Road. The new gas mains are being laid in the road and verge and to enable work to be carried out safely and effectively we're having to use temporary traffic lights.

"Our work has been carefully planned and has been agreed with the local authority.

"We're sorry for any inconvenience the work may cause and understand that people may find roadworks frustrating and we're doing all we can to complete our work as soon as possible."

The spokesperson added: "The gas mains we're laying now should last until the dawn of the 22nd century and will reduce the risk of future disruption caused by leaks from old gas pipes.

"Currently our work is scheduled to be completed on December 3."

READ MORE: Staff sent home early as customers avoid village due to traffic 'mayhem'

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