THE millionaire boss of a major energy company has donated £1,000 to St Helena Hospice – because his firm left motorists in traffic chaos.

UK Power Networks’ chief executive Basil Scarsella made the goodwill gesture after traffic lights were abandoned at a Colchester traffic blackspot.

UK Power Networks’ engineers dug up part of Bergholt Road to repair an underground cable fault in mid-December.

Three sets of traffic lights were installed, in Three Crowns Road, to divert motorists.

The fault was fixed the same day, but it took numerous emails from fuming residents to UK Power Networks and its contractor, Morrison Utility Services, to finally get the lights removed, six days later.

Martin Goss, borough councillor for Mile End ward, said: “It snarled up traffic to North Station and people couldn’t get out of North Station car park.

“The lights in Prior Way were glaring though a resident’s window – the lady couldn’t sleep – and traffic was backed up out to the A12 out, via the Avenue of Remembrance.”

Colin Hyoms, a member of Braiswick Residents’ Association, suggested the firm make a charitable donation to say sorry.

Mr Goss and fellow councillors Ciaran McGonagle and Dominic Graham suggested Colchester’s St Helena Hospice, and Mr Scarsella stumped up the cash.

Mr Goss said: “They have given £1,000 and offered to potentially staff a volunteer project in Mile End, if the community can come up with one. We would welcome suggestions.”

RayWilson, director of patient and family services, at St Helena Hospice: “We’d like to thank the councillors for thinking of us.

We’d also like to thank UK Power Networks for its kind donation.”

A UK Power Networks spokesman apologised for the disruption, adding: “While the work was vital to ensure a reliable power supply to residents in the road, we do recognise the time it took to reinstate the road did cause inconvenience and realise this would have been very frustrating for both residents and motorists.