Seven more weeks of ‘hell’ as roadworks are delayed

Roadworks on Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant

Roadworks on Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A delay to long-running roadworks on a busy city road will cause seven more weeks of 'hell' for businesses, residents and commuters, it has been claimed.

Traffic tailback from the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant

Traffic tailback from the Sweet Briar Road roundabout. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

The agonising wait for a £1.6m roundabout replacement at Sweet Briar Road's junction with Dereham Road, in Norwich, was originally scheduled to be over this weekend.

However days before the original completion date the goalposts were moved, with a new forecast finishing date of June 8.

This means the works, which began in August, will carry on seven weeks longer than planned.

The works, which when completed will see the roundabout made bigger and parts of the road widened, have caused months of lengthy delays for motorists, with around 40,000 vehicles estimated to use it every day.

It has also caused problems for businesses occupying the area, who have suffered the impact of the traffic flow.

Daniel Torren, manager of American Golf in Guardian Road, said: 'It has definitely affected our trade - due to the traffic people have been avoiding the area, so it has a big impact on walk-in customers.

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'It has also impacted our staff commuting to work - I live in Dereham and it has added around 30mins to my journey.'

Mark Fletcher, assistant manager of nearby National Tyres and Autocare, described the time the roadworks have been there as 'hell'.

He said: 'It has heavily affected us. It's difficult to say exactly how much it has cost us financially but there have been days when we've been completely dead.

'It has also been a nightmare when taking deliveries - lorries have been left to turn around in our car park which is barely big enough to do so.'

Keith and Brenda Moore, 63 and 60, live on the opposite side of the junction.

Mr Moore said: 'Getting in and out of our drive is difficult enough as it is but the roadworks have made it even harder.

'Normally, it would take around 15mins for me to get to work on Salhouse Road but now it has been taking twice that. I'm not sure what difference it will even make.'

Council bosses say the delays have been caused by a mixture of electrical complications and inclement weather conditions.

A spokesman for Transport for Norwich said: 'The project to build a new, larger capacity roundabout at Dereham Road/Sweet Briar Road is progressing well, however, a few factors have delayed work during the eight-month construction period.

'There have been some complications around utilities work, in particular the diversion of electrical cables, as well as delays due to the snow in late February and subsequent heavy rain.

'We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we enter the final stages of work.

'On completion, the junction will perform much more efficiently, improving journey time for all modes of transport.'