Wednesday, 16 August 2017

I can’t sleep for noisy workers

RESIDENTS of a Goring street say they are being kept awake by workmen refurbishing the village

RESIDENTS of a Goring street say they are being kept awake by workmen refurbishing the village station.

Belinda McNamee, who lives in Red Cross Road with her husband Sean, says Network Rail’s contractors have been parking outside her house throughout the night for more than two years.

Up to five vans from various companies can come and go at any time between 11pm and 6am, both on weekdays and at weekends.

They stop there to take a short cut to the site using the Yew Tree Court footpath.

Mrs McNamee says she and her neighbours, whose properties are just a few steps away from the street, are repeatedly disturbed by slamming doors, loud conversations, swearing and music being played. Network Rail has repeatedly apologised and promised to remind its workmen that they may only park in the station car park off Gatehampton Road, on the opposite side of the tracks.

However, the problem has persisted and the McNamees, who run the village’s Swift Clik and Swift Ink printers and stationers, have emailed the firm’s chief executive Mark Carne demanding action.

The problem began when Network Rail started exploratory ground work for the refurbishment in March 2014. It is now installing a new footbridge and lifts, which are expected to open this summer.

The disturbance was initially intermittent but in November 2014 the McNamees and their neighbours had to endure it for 11 nights over a two-week period.

They complained and received their first apology but it has happened several more times since then. Mrs McNamee said: “We understand that the station has to be upgraded and we’re all in favour of that. We use the railways often and the wonderful access is one of the reasons we enjoy living in Goring.

“However, we object to them parking in Red Cross Road. They can come at any time and it’s not like they all arrive and leave at once - there’ll be people coming and going all night.

“We’ve had 15 people outside the house chatting, swearing, listening to the radio and discussing which tasks need to be done. They’re so blinkered by the fact that they’re working that they forget other people are trying to sleep.

“There’s a lot of swearing - you wouldn’t want a child to hear. One time a workman was loudly talking on the phone to his wife and when he saw I was calling his supervisor he waved his fist at me angrily.

“It’s all different people like piling contractors, builders, the people extending the platform and so on. You can ask one lot to move but then someone else will arrive a few minutes later.

“It gets to the stage where you’re almost in tears. My husband and I work six days a week and sometimes I’ve been so exhausted I can barely function.

“It’s ridiculous how many times I’ve had to get dressed and go out there with my torch to ask them to move. Sometimes they leave quickly because they know they’re in the wrong but the last time it happened they just laughed in my face. I’ve asked as reasonably as possible because shouting gets you nowhere but you wonder what you have to do to get results. It’s a very stressful situation and it isn’t fair.

“Friends won’t stay with us any more because of it. When my mum came to stay overnight she asked, ‘what on earth was all that noise?’ and we just said, ‘that’s normal for us now’.

“Network Rail’s apologies just sound like platitudes now. I think they’re hoping to keep brushing us off until the work is finished.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are aware of these concerns and because they have caused such upset we are going to stop using the railway access point near this property and will instead use one which is further away.

“This will hopefully solve the problem but we will continue to monitor the residents’ concerns and take further steps if necessary.”





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