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Network Rail plans to reduce noise levels as work continues in Borehamwood
Rail improvement work that caused Borehamwood to suffer a sleepless night will continue as planned.
Network Rail, which was responsible for the “loud metallic banging” that continued from 2am until 6am on Sunday, has agreed to put in place measures to reduce the racket.
However it argues the work is “essential” and has to be carried out at a time that will not disrupt the running of the railways or inconvenience passengers.
MP for Hertsmere James Clappison, who has received at least 15 complaints from constituents about the racket, expressed his concern.
He said: “I know the work is essential but this level of noise so early in the morning was completely unacceptable.
“It is set to carry on until June and I don’t believe it is right it should go on for such a long period of time.
“I am going to keep up the pressure on the rail company, and am very keen to meet with them to discuss a way forward.
“The rail company needs to look very carefully at what can be done to ensure the people of Borehamwood are not disturbed like this again.”
Hertsmere Borough Council’s environmental health team has received more than 70 complaints about the cacophony, from people as far away as Well End Road in Borehamwood and Nash Close in Elstree.
Councillor Jean Heywood was herself disturbed by the racket.
The representative for the environment, who lives a mile away from the tracks, was woken by what she thought was someone hitting a car door with a mallet.
She said: “At first I thought it was a theft in progress, I had no idea what it was.
"Then it carried on with the annoying regularity of a tap dripping. My son tracked it down to the railway line.
“I hate to think how horrendous it would have been for those closer to the track, their houses must have been shaking.
“It was absolutely outrageous this work carried on all night. There must be a time they can do it that does not keep Borehamwood awake."
She added she was angered by the lack of communication over the planned works, which meant very few residents were informed and the noise started without warning.
Cllr Heywood said: "I would like to meet with Network Rail and hear their assurances the noise willl not continue like this, I’m not convinced at the moment.”
Network Rail has said construction will continue this Sunday, but will begin about 7am and last until 12pm.
Contractors Volker has said it will not be working every weekend – however no timetable has been agreed.
Spokesman for Network Rail Chris Denham said: “Hopefully the later start this weekend will be better for residents.
"The track is built on London clay, which is very hard to put piles through, hence the noise.
"We intend to drive piles this weekend and then we won't be using the piling hammer for a while so it will be less noisy.
“Network Rail has extensive discussions with the council and has agreed to install acoustic screens to mitigate the noise. We will also write a lot more letters explaining what we are doing.
“We’re in between a rock and a hard place. We agreed the schedule with the council and rail operators months in advance.
“We’re doing our best to come up with a solution that will make both the passengers and people of Borehamwood happy.”
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