'It's a big pain' - Third river crossing work leaves businessman frustrated
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Great Yarmouth's landmark third river crossing project may have been hailed as good news for the town - but one business owner says it is making his life a nightmare.
Peter Doidge, who runs a car audio centre, says that since work started two months ago his staff cannot hear phone calls or customers entering, dust from the site covers cars and he has even noticed cracks appearing at his premises.
His company, Peter Doidge Car Audio and Performance Centre, on Southtown Road, is next to the foundations of the £121m project which will connect the A47 at Harfrey’s roundabout to the port and enterprise zone on the other side of the river.
"You literally can't have a simple conversation with customers or clients outside the property," Mr Doidge, 65, said.
"Every customer that comes in asks us how we put up with it.
"It's a big pain.
"There must be something manufactured to make it not so noisy."
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Mr Doidge and his staff were supplied with ear defenders and a mobile buzzer for the door, but he said they don't do the job.
"It's pretty hard [wearing ear defenders] as you can't hear the phone or talk to customers."
The mobile buzzer, he said, was too bulky to carry while working on cars.
For the past two weeks, the piling machine has moved closer to Mr Doidge's garage.
He said: "When the wind blows, we're breathing this stuff in and our cars look like bags of cements have been thrown over them."
Mr Doidge and his staff have even had to wash their customer's cars due to the dust from the columns.
"It was so embarrassing," Mr Doidge said.
Mr Doidge is also concerned that his premises was being affected by the work.
"I have got cracks that are getting bigger in the building which is a worry," he said.
"Workers managed to bring the phone line down with a digger.
"That affected us for a weekend.
"I'm not sure if the vibrations are causing the gutters to move and crack.
"I never had problems before, but I've now got three buckets under parts of it.
"It has certainly affected the business and the staff.
"If the property is still standing by the time the crossing is finished, I think it will be good for business."
Tony Mulholland, project director for BAM Farrans Joint Venture who are constructing the bridge on behalf of Norfolk County Council, said: “We are making fantastic progress on site and piling works have been ongoing for a number of months.
"We always seek to minimise disruption and inconvenience to the public wherever possible but on a project of this scale some issues with noise are unavoidable.
"In river piling works are due to be completed by mid-October ahead of schedule. Some piling associated with highway construction will continue beyond this point but the work in the river is by far the most disruptive.
"I would like to thank the public for their continued patience and anyone with any queries for the project team can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 083 8160 at any time.”