Yoxford/Peasenhall: Sewer repair news is cold comfort for business

FRUSTRATION still pervades a Suffolk village despite assurances that the closure of a road for emergency sewer repairs would be lifted on schedule.

Yoxford businesses have taken little comfort from news of engineers completing the most difficult part of work to the collapsed drain under the A1120 - but Anglian Water reasserted its claim that the work was essential to reduce the chances of future problems.

The company has faced criticism in Yoxford and Peasenhall for closing a major tourist route linking the A14 to the coast, between Strickland Manor Hill and The Lane, at the height of the summer season on Monday, August 13.

The work is expected to take five weeks to complete, with Anglian Water confident engineers will finish on time. Communications executive Antony Innes said: “The most disruptive part of the work, replacing the severely damaged section of sewer, has now been completed.

“Our engineers are now working on the second stage of the emergency repair - to reline other, very fragile parts of the sewer.

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“At this stage we are on track to be able to reopen the road within the predicted five week period. We will of course push to complete the work sooner if possible.”

Carl Bennett, of the Yoxford Food Company, one of those affected by the closure, described the village as being “in a state of limbo” since work began. He added: “By closing the road over the busiest weekend of the year, Anglian Water has the potential to shut down two villages for good.

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“If any one of us disrupted Anglian Water’s profits for five minutes, let alone five weeks, we’d be up in court.”

Mr Bennett said he and other businesses would be invoicing Anglian Water for any losses they claim to have made because of the closure.

Responding to concerns, Mr Innes said: “We know this work is not ideal and has come at a very unfortunate time of year. That’s why we are working as quickly and effectively as possible to reopen the road ahead of schedule and doing what we can to reduce the impact of businesses.

“This collapsed section of sewer was discovered as part of a wider sewer improvement scheme in the Yoxford area, which will see over two kilometres of pipes ‘relined’ in Little Street and High Street.

“Once again we are sorry for the disruption and inconvenience this work has caused.”

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