Emergency electric works pose more disruption in Wickham Market

Wickham Market High Street (file photo)

Wickham Market High Street (file photo) - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk village that has endured seven weeks of disruption caused by essential gas main works has been affected by further problems posed by emergency electrical repairs.

Wickham Market’s parish chairman said it was “incredibly frustrating” that the work by UK Power Networks has happened while the village is still reeling from the previous disruption.

Businesses said the village had become a “ghost town” when National Grid’s work in high street to connect a new housing estate to the gas network resulted in the closure of High Street for two weeks last month. Mr Jenkinson said the latest works, which began on Monday so that an underground electricity cable could be repaired, had also left the town “extremely quiet”. “It’s incredibly frustrating that this has happened at this time,” he added.

Although Mr Jenkinson said the signposting of the road closure had been better than the gas works, which was criticised for deterring visitors, the affect on buses had been worse.

First Buses ran a shuttle services to connect passengers with the number 63 in Woodbridge when the village was last off-limits for their vehicles. During the current works, however, no such service has been provided. Kim Berry, 54, who travels by bus each day from Wickham Market to work in Ipswich, said she and three fellow travellers from the village, were “dumped in the middle of nowhere”, two miles from home, without warning their service would not be operating.

The following morning, Ms Berry discovered the bus was still not running and she needed to pay for a taxi. “It’s been very inconvenient,” she said. “I can appreciate that emergency works need to be done, but I don’t see why we should be dumped in the middle of nowhere.”

UK Power Networks said its engineers have been working as “quickly as possible” to repair the fault on an underground electricity cable in High Street, Wickham Market.

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“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the work which is essential to maintain reliable electricity supplies in the local community,” a spokesman added.

The work is due to finish on Monday. First Buses did not respond to request for comment.