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'What was the point?': Bemused residents slam millions spent on 'pain in the neck' roadworks

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:03 05 November 2019

People in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany Wales

People in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany Wales

Archant

People in a town which has been marred by road closures and diversions for more than a year said they were "bemused" by what had changed, following the latest stage of the £4.5m project.

People in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany WalesPeople in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany Wales

The Transport for Attleborough project launched in September 2018, and has seen work carried out on various roads and pavements in the town, in an effort to reduce congestion and improve parking.

The latest stage of the project focused on improving the junction of High Street and Exchange Street, and saw the road closed for nine weeks, reopening on Monday, October 28.

Norfolk County Council said its contractors had widened the road to facilitate two lanes of traffic, installed a new pedestrian crossing and resurfaced the road and pavement.

But since the reveal, many in the town have been left scratching their heads, and questioning whether the result was worth the time and money spent.

Staff at Connaughts Coffee House said they were confused by what had been done following the roadworks. Photo: Bethany WalesStaff at Connaughts Coffee House said they were confused by what had been done following the roadworks. Photo: Bethany Wales

Joanne French, who owns Connaught's Coffee House & Cafe, directly opposite the roadworks, said the ongoing work had affected trade, and questioned what had been achieved by the disruption.

She said: "The noise definitely put people off coming in. I think people have avoided town generally because of the disruption. Looking at it I'm bemused as to what they have done. It doesn't look any different."

Joseph Ketley, 76, struggles with mobility, but regularly uses the bus to travel into the town centre from his home on New Road.

He said: "The road closure was a pain in the neck. The bus took far too long and in the end I stopped bothering. What was the point? I see no change on the junction that warranted it being closed all this time."

People in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany WalesPeople in Attleborough are 'bemused' by the new work on Connaught Street, following a nine week closure. Photo: Bethany Wales

According to Norfolk County Council, the work will "allow traffic to flow more smoothly and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road", and had been agreed following a public consultation in 2017.

A spokesman said: "The improvement works at the junction of High Street and Exchange Street, which form part of the ongoing Transport for Attleborough project, are now largely complete. The junction opened to traffic on Monday morning. The scheme included pavement improvements and road resurfacing. We still need to carry out some minor additional works, but the junction is operating well."

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