VILLAGERS say they have been hit by a double whammy after a second road closure.

The frustration comes after Essex Highways said it was closing the Clays Hill section of Pebmarsh Road, which runs through the centre of Pebmarsh.

The road is a vital link for residents in surrounding villages and is the main route to the A131 between Halstead and Sudbury.

The road was closed January 30 and will be until February 12 while highways and County Broadband conduct work to install fibre broadband.

The news of the latest closure comes after the recent decision to close Alphamstone Road, just a few miles down the road.

Residents were already angry at having a lengthy diversion.

One Alphamstone resident said: “They are now proposing to close the Pebmarsh Road.

Surely they can’t close both at the same time.”

Alphamstone Road us expected to be closed until March for drainage work. Diversions will see drivers re-routed through Earls Colne.

Essex Highways say they are trying reduce disruption.

A spokesman said: “The works on Pebmarsh Road will only close the road outside peak times from 9.30am to 2.30pm when the broadband provider is allowed to work in the road.

“Commuters to work and school pupils and staff should be able to travel without delays.

“Emergency service vehicles will be allowed access at all times.

“There are formal diversions involving for example Bures Road and Colne Road and routes to the B1508, and local drivers will also know other roads in the area.

“Unfortunately roadworks for utilities or road repairs do have to be done and will cause some inconvenience in rural areas where the road network is limited.”