Night rail work causes ‘misery’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 February 2015

Archant

Night-time work on a four-mile stretch of railway line running through Pill is causing ‘misery’ for residents living nearby.

The work, which involves renewing a section of track on the Portishead Branch Line, is being carried out by Network Rail during night-time hours which has angered nearby residents.

There have also been complaints about shouting and swearing from workers on the line, despite them being expected to abide by a code of conduct prohibiting this when unnecessary.

Klara Anstey, who lives in Monmouth Road, said: “They work until Saturday afternoon right through until Sunday afternoon.

“There is really loud machinery and bright lights - it is like being in the middle of a trading estate not a residential area.

“We received no notice that work was to be carried out last weekend and we were all up for most of the night.

“We have now received a letter outlining plans to work for most Saturdays right through until the end of May.

“If I was to carry out works in my garden right through the night I would be prevented from doing so by the council so why are Network Rail allowed to work through the night and cause sleepless nights for residents along our road?”

Train noise has been a long-running issue for Pill with sound levels of 73 decibels recorded in some houses in the village. In comparison, a 63 decibel reading near an airport would see residents provided with help to soundproof their homes.

Victoria Bradley, Network Rail’s media relations manager, said: “We fully understand the concerns of residents but for safety reasons we can only undertake this essential renewal work when no freight services are running.

“This limits us to working mainly overnight at weekends.

“As a public funded organisation, we must be mindful of the best use of taxpayers’ money, which is why we will be working throughout these available periods to complete the work as expediently as possible.

“Notwithstanding this, we understand that this work could affect local residents which is why we notified them in advance and will continue to work with our contractor to minimise disruption while the work is taking place.”

The renewal work on the Portishead Branch Line is scheduled to be completed on May 24.


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