Essex Highways has defended how it is carrying out six weeks of repairs to Colchester town centre pavements.

The work began on Monday and means large areas in the High Street and Head Street have been blocked off to pedestrians.

Shopper Carl Hodgins, 52, criticised the way the work was being carried after claiming only one person was working in the High Street despite the cordon being in place.

He said: “There is one builder and it is just a mess.

“I came to the top of the High Street and there are three vehicles in areas they shouldn’t be in and in bus stops.

“The traffic wardens are quick to book other people but for some reason are not going to ticket them.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “As part of our town centre improvement scheme, we are currently carrying out repairs to the joints between the paving in Colchester High Street.

“We have specialist contractors carrying out the work and we also have three teams in the town centre carrying out various footway repairs.

“This morning there was a site meeting with a number of our staff along with officers from the borough council to discuss our works.

“The process we are using means we cannot permit vehicles or pedestrians to use the area until the repair has hardened which is dependent on weather conditions and the temperature.

“We have discussed our parking needs with Colchester Council whilst we undertake the works which are scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2014, subject to weather conditions.”