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Anger as 10-week gas work in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, overruns by nearly seven weeks

PUBLISHED: 14:16 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:43 02 November 2017

Signs in Woodbridge Road still say work will take 10 weeks from July 10, despite having overrun that by almost seven weeks. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Signs in Woodbridge Road still say work will take 10 weeks from July 10, despite having overrun that by almost seven weeks. Picture: JASON NOBLE

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A busy Ipswich road which faced 10 weeks of roadworks during the summer is continuing to be disrupted nearly 17 weeks after it first began.

Woodbridge Road has been closed for 10 weeks.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Woodbridge Road has been closed for 10 weeks. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In March, it was announced that gas main replacement work would take place in Woodbridge Road between the Kirby Street junction and the mini roundabout by the Lattice Barn.

Work was scheduled for 10 weeks from July 10, due to re-open on September 18.

But now, nearly seven weeks after the work was supposed to have finished, work is still continuing with no end date apparently in sight.

Businesses in the area have reported that the partial road closures have resulted in a downturn in trade, with some having expressed their fears that would happen in March.

They were originally contacted to say work would be taking place, but no update has been given from Cadent which is carrying out the work as to when it will finish.

Road signs still say 10 weeks of work from July 10 despite that deadline having passed weeks ago.

A spokesman from Cadent earlier this month said work was on course to finish on Friday, October 27.

One business said after persistent calls to the contractors they were told it was looking more likely to be early December.

A Cadent spokesman earlier this month said: “We do all we can to minimise disruption when planning and delivering these important projects and carefully plan the work in close discussion with local authorities to ensure we deliver it a the most convenient time while also ensuring we replace the mains in good time.

“A large chunk of the current project in Woodbridge Road was carried out during the school summer holiday period when roads are generally quieter as part of our efforts to minimise disruption in the area.”

However, businesses in the area said there had not been enough communication over the delays, or even an explanation as to why the work was being delayed.

Steve Harding, owner of Touchwood UK, said: “It’s frustrating because you can see this is a busy road, that is the reason why we have got a showroom here, but it is not busy now.

“Footfall is down and then you cannot convert that into orders.

“Just from speaking to people you know, family, friends and customers they say they are avoiding that road.”

David Frost, manager at Barnard Brothers added: “It has died down but there is nothing you can do about it – we just have to do what we can do.”

At least one business in the area has put in a claim against Cadent because of the detrimental effect on trade.

More than one business reported missed deliveries as a result of the work.

Tracy Allum whose husband Chris runs Chris’ Fruit & Veg, said: “It has had quite an effect – we normally get a lot of passing trade so there hasn’t been as much of that.”

It is understood that Cadent has been applying for extensions to its work permit throughout that time, with its latest extension due to run out tomorrow.

However, it is not clear when the work will finish and whether another extension has been approved by Suffolk County Council.

Have you been affected by the roadworks? Email the newsroom here and share your experience.

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