Anglian Water has apologised for twice sending villagers on an unnecessarily long diversion.
Two weeks ago drivers heading south out of Bury St Edmunds found ‘road closed ahead’ signs at Cullum Road but complained after finding the road was only closed at Lawshall for work on a water main.
But this week the diversion reappeared as Anglian Water workers returned to work in the village.
Phil Ayres, who lives between Lawshall and Whepstead and worked in road construction, said: “You’ve got four miles of road closed for no reason.
“For people wanting to go to Nowton or Hawstead, it wasn’t closed at all.
“It should say ‘road closed four miles ahead’ or at Lawshall. It gets around by word of mouth that it isn’t closed, but for visitors and delivery people, it’s a long diversion.”
He said workers at the site had said they would be returning and would discuss a shorter diversion with Suffolk County Council.
But the same diversion was used when the contractors returned this week.
A county council spokeswoman said when emergency work is needed the utilities can apply either to the county or the police for approval of a diversion.
She explained: “In an emergency, a strategic route on main roads is used, mainly for HGVs.”
She said the county had asked Anglian Water to discuss the route with its officers for when workers returned.
“In the meantime, they have put up another strategic diversion,” she said. “Our inspectors are down there and that should change this afternoon (Wednesday) to make it a more local diversion.”
An Anglian Water spokesman said: “This isn’t the same job but two leaks we’re repairing in a similar place but we apologise for the breakdown in communications that has led to this .
“Anglian Water does its best not to inconvenience people unnecessarily.”