RESIDENTS say they are furious that work to complete a £2.95million town centre revamp in Braintree is taking so long.

After months of delays, Braintree Council has appointed a new contractor to finish the remaining stages of the pedestrianisation scheme for Braintree town centre.

But residents say they are “sick to death” of the works and labelled it “a pointless waste of funding”.

The work will see Market Place, Great Square and the High Street transformed into a new public space with one-level paving, street furniture, CCTV, Wi-Fi hotspots, trees and new seating areas.

Work in each area is being completed in a phased approach starting off with the south of the High Street, from Timpson to Patrick & Menzies Opticians.

So far, the scheme has seen the installation of new disabled bays in Bank Street and the creation of a new southbound bus and cycle lane on Fairfield Road.

Braintree and Witham Times: A new surface has been layed outside TescoA new surface has been layed outside Tesco

But resident Gordon Currie said: “Braintree town centre is a mess. Work promised to be finished by January is completely abandoned with no sign of resumption.

“It is no surprise that many shops have failed to open.

“Why would anyone want to shop in Braintree at this time?”

Other residents have joked that the work will not be completed until 2050 at the current rate.

However, some said they are still excited to see what works will look like upon completion.

One said on Facebook: “Can’t wait until it’s finished. The bit by Tesco and the top of the high street looks lovely.”

The multi-million pedestrianisation scheme is part of a major investment in the town centre alongside the £30million Victoria Square development.

It aims to modernise the town centre and bring more people into Braintree, boost trade for existing businesses and attract new traders.

A council spokesman said: “We are pleased we are now able to progress with the final stages of construction work across the town centre as part of this scheme.

“We are working with the new contractor to provide a programme of work that will reduce the impact of the delay to the completion of the project as a whole and we are confident that we will be able to move across the town centre at pace.

“All being well we can all look forward to the project being completed by the summer which will see a fantastic new and safer public space for future events, and play a key part in our town centre bouncing back from the impacts of the pandemic.”

Residents are being urged by the council to follow the signage on display for their safety as well as others.