For George Fuller, it used to take a matter of seconds to drive from his home to the nearest main road, before heading off wherever he needed to go.

But now, each journey must start and end with a tortuous, time-consuming two-mile diversion, as he is forced on a lengthy detour by delayed roadworks, part of which have closed a 20m stretch of road near his house.

Retired engineer Mr Fuller and his neighbours are growing increasingly frustrated by the ongoing works in Saham Road, Watton, which they say have been dogged by a string of delays and mistakes.

Cadent and its sub-contractors began replacing a gas pipeline beneath the road in April and are facing weeks more of delays.

The work was due to be completed in August. But pipes being installed in the wrong place, incorrect materials being delivered and delays in getting supplies means it will go on until October.

Watton & Swaffham Times: Cadent has acknowledged there has been issues with the work in Saham Road, WattonCadent has acknowledged there has been issues with the work in Saham Road, Watton (Image: Archant)

The road closure has frustrated families in the area, who are having to drive a two mile diversion to reach Brandon Road - despite it being a stone's throw from their homes.

During initial stages, a single carriageway was kept open, but since August, the Watton end of the road has been totally shut.

Mr Fuller, who lives in nearby Meadow Grove, said contractors told him a Cadent inspector found pipes had been put in the wrong place, so they had to be dug up and relaid.

He was also told by Norfolk County Council that Cadent had informed them the wrong pipes had been sent, which caused further delays.

And the 79-year-old questioned why part of the trenches could not be backfilled so the road could remain open.

That did happen, temporarily, to allow a funeral cortege to pass down the road.

He said: "It's a two-mile diversion to get into Watton and this just goes on and on.

"I can't understand how pipes could have been laid in the wrong place. Were the subcontractors not working to any plans? And if they were, were the plans wrong?"

Watton & Swaffham Times: Saham Road in Watton is closed at its junction with Brandon RoadSaham Road in Watton is closed at its junction with Brandon Road (Image: Archant)

A Cadent spokeswoman said there had been "engineering difficulties and supply issues".

She said: "We are working to minimise disruption to residents, whilst completing the work.

“Our aim is to reopen the road as soon as possible, working under temporary traffic lights instead.

"We are looking to complete the work by the end of October, subject to agreement with the local highways authority.

“We apologise for the disruption this project has caused. We would like to arrange a meeting for residents to explain the challenges we have faced and our plans to resolve them and complete the project."

Cadent did not answer the question as to how the pipes came to be laid in the wrong place.