Fed-up villagers living along a B-road near Leiston have been left upset, sleep-deprived and out of pocket after weeks of roadworks for Sizewell C.

A night-time operation to resurface the B1122 through Theberton and towards Middleton between March 18 and April 10 left residents at the end of their tether.

Middleton Parish Councillor Charles Macdowell - who lives along the road - said his house was shaking as they planed the surface of the road and the noise kept him and his wife awake at night.

"It was very loud. Our whole house shook. They were planing and our whole house was vibrating with that," he said.

East Anglian Daily Times:

His wife runs a small holiday cottage behind the house and guests were staying there at the time. 

The noise was so unbearable they asked for a refund on half of what they had paid and cancelled their second night's booking, he said.

Even once the planing was done, the orange flashing lights from the machines and the reverse bleeping alarms continued to disturb their sleep.

"It was pretty stressful," he said. But he added: "At the end of the day you have got to resurface the road - where it all fell down was the communication."

They were reassured that disruption during the works - which took place between 7pm and 6am - would be minimised and residents would be helped home via escort, he added.

But often this help didn't materialise and they faced long diversions, he said. The roadworks were carried out out of sequence making it difficult to predict where they would be on a given night, he added.

East Anglian Daily Times:

"What actually happened was more often than not people were turned away from the checkpoints and had to go another way," he said.

One resident - who wished to remain anonymous - described how her husband faced a 20-mile detour for a two mile trip when picking up their son from his scout club in Leiston. "The noise was horrendous," she added.

Tom Lagden, landlord at the Theberton Lion, said he lost money due to a drop-off in trade and his staff and customers faced long diversions and disruption as a result of the works.

"As a business owner it was particularly disruptive for us. We had customers turned away. Initially we were told they would be able to access use from both directions then they were told they would not," he said. "It certainly wasn't a pleasant experience."

A cribbage team travelling in from Framlingham got stuck in the diversion and were an hour late for the match, he said. Customers from Middleton and Westleton were unable to get to him or unable to get back, he added.

On one occasion even though they had negotiated for two customers to get through the roadworks they were turned away.

"The impact on my business was significant," he said. "Potentially people's habits are affected for good at a time when the hospitality industry is suffering."

He added: "They let us off for the Easter weekend - which was nice of them - but I think it was one of the things that frustrated me the most was we arranged a meeting with representatives of Sizewell C to try and smooth things over before anything happened.

"We were assured there would be access and people would get through and unfortunately that all proved to be incorrect because people were subject to diversions.

He and others  had "gone out of our way to work with them", he said. "We have been nothing but approachable and understanding of the situation and had a very cordial meeting two weeks before the closure and given some assurances.

"It's disappointing as much as anything."

East Anglian Daily Times:

A Sizewell C spokeswoman said the company wrote to more than 700 residents living near the B1122 twice to let them know about the works. 

They also also met with councillors and the owners of the Theberton Lion to share their plans before starting, and once works were under way provided daily works updates and a works tracker. 

“The work was carried out overnight to minimise disruption as a road closure was necessary.  A diversion route was put in place with teams deployed at road closure points to assist the public.  Access was safely maintained overnight to all local homes and businesses. 

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these essential road improvements which are part of our wider noise mitigation plan for transport to the Sizewell C site in advance of building the Sizewell Link Road which will take our construction traffic.  We are in touch with the Theberton Lion regarding their complaint.”

By resurfacing the B1122,  noise and vibration from traffic will be reduced, the company pointed out.