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‘Thirty minutes to drive quarter of a mile’ - Motorists again frustrated by delays as busy road closed for second time in weeks

PUBLISHED: 09:53 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 07 September 2018

The roadworks on Neatherd Road have already caused long delays in the town. Picture: Dan Bennett.

The roadworks on Neatherd Road have already caused long delays in the town. Picture: Dan Bennett.

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Motorists in a Norfolk town are facing more lengthy delays following the closure of one of the town’s busiest roads for the second time in a matter of weeks.

The roadworks on Neatherd Road have caused long delays in the town. Picture: Dan Bennett.The roadworks on Neatherd Road have caused long delays in the town. Picture: Dan Bennett.

Neatherd Road has not long been fully reopened after it was partially shut following work to reconstruct a footway on Kings Road but has now been completely closed due to a collapsed sewer.

Temporary traffic lights also remain on Kings Road while the work on the footway continues.

Motorists took to social media to express their frustrations. Tracey Steward commented on Facebook: “Took 30 minutes from the Marks and Spencers garage to town” and Amber Preston posted: “Me and my partner ending up turning round and parking in Cherry Tree car park. Town was packed, we went and did our shopping on the way back to the car and the same cars were still waiting to move.”

Frankie Richer also added: “Twenty five minutes on the Fast 8 bus from Market Place to Norwich Road.”

Concerns have also been expressed over the impact of increased traffic as the population and size of the town grows.

Dereham Town Council clerk Tony Needham said: “The town council has been raising the issue of congestion with both Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council for some years.

“While the current congestion is in relation to specific roadworks and we should be thankful that the county council are spending money on improving the roads, there is the wider concern of the capacity of the network as the town develops.”

Anglian Water is undertaking the works to fix the collapsed sewer and Norfolk County Council is in charge of the work fixing the footway on Kings Road, which is expected to reopen on Thursday September 6.

Neatherd Road is expected to open again on September 12.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Tankers are on site taking used water away to relieve pressure on the sewer network and ensure that homes in the area can continue to use their toilets as normal.

“Our engineers are currently working extended hours to fix the pipe as quickly as possible but the repair is more complicated than normal.

“A road closure and diversion route has been put in place to allow our teams to work safely on what is a busy road in the area. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes and would like to thank customers for their patience while we make these vital repairs.”

Bus passengers travelling between Norwich and Toftwood have also been warned to expect service alterations and delays due to the collapsed sewer.

Konectbus which operates the number eight service from Norwich to Toftwood via Dereham has said the service will be unable to stop at Mastell Way, Station Road, and London Road Halfords due to the works.

First Bus, who provide the Excel bus service has said its services have also been effected by the closure of Neatherd Road in Dereham.

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