Network Rail have held a series of information evenings for residents to come and find out more about the electrification of the Preston line, and the piling process which is currently being carried out.Advertisement
On May 31, Lancashire Police received numerous calls in the early hours of the morning regarding ‘loud banging noises’ in the Lea and Savick areas of Preston.
Overnight piling is taking place as the line is electrified with Network Rail engineers on site, but this is a noisy activity involving driving steel piles deep into the ground.
Read more: Network Rail to carry out overnight work on Preston-Blackpool line
On Monday 18 June, residents were invited to come along to an information session at Ashton Methodist Church from 4-7pm.
Residents were able to voice their concerns, and listen to Network Rail’s plans for the rest of the electrification process.
A particular concern was the fear that the work on the rail line would affect the foundations of people’s houses, however Network Rail assured residents that they have carried out different tests to ensure that this wont happen, and these are legally recorded.
One local resident said: “I’d hate to be an old person in their home alone at night and this happens to them. It’s frightening. For us it happened at 3.30am, the whole house just shook.”
Network Rail responded: “There are three different types of piling drives, some which are louder than others. Unfortunately it depends on the ground condition as to which we use. We just want to get the job done and get out.”
Another resident, from Waterloo Road, said: “You have children screaming thinking it’s people trying to get into the house. It’s scary for them. My children got no sleep that night. How can you cope with that noise? Also our property value is decreasing and as the line looks horrendous. I want them to inform me about what work is happening at the time.”
Some residents were also upset that nothing was being done to reduce the noise.
One resident said: “To go out and see that nothing is being done to reduce noise, it just infuriated me. Piling should take 40 minutes per section, but I watched it take 2.5 hours and workers were just stood there looking gormless. It’s infuriating.”
Network Rail said: “We’ve done the majority of pilling & we will now go back to do odd ones that need adjusting. There will be two more weeks of noisy work. We finish on 17 July and you shouldn’t hear vibrations from then onwards. And 31 July is the last day of work. We’ll erect steel from 1 July, which may be a little bit noisy but not much hopefully.”
Another concern voiced was that Network Rail have not been effective enough in informing the residents about the work that was going on, prior to it being carried out.
A resident from St Andrew’s Avenue said: “Some residents have never been told about the work that was going on. You ring up and just don’t get any response.”
Janet Entwistle, Lea resident, said: “I’ve been in touch with Network Rail to ask when the work will be carried out in my area. A query has been logged and I am waiting to hear back. We haven’t received any written information from Network Rail, even though we live 500m of the line. It’s very odd. Noisy!”
Network Rail responded saying: “Eight weeks prior to the work, we sent letters to residents within 500m area. Some were missed due to our supplier who was in charge of distributing them, so we changed suppliers to resolve this issue. Our communication had not been good enough. We need to get better at the notification process. Our new supplier has the addresses of all the residents nearby. There’ll now be regular communication every 2 months.”
Did you hear loud banging noises from the work on the Railway Line? What do you think about the work being carried out? Let us know in the comments below