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Overnight Rail Work Keeping Villagers Awake

Great Western Train

6:45am 18th June 2014
(Updated 12:12pm 20th June 2014)

People living in a Dorset village have attacked Network Rail for engineering work that’s taking place overnight, and keeping them awake.

Contractors are carrying out track work at the Maiden Newton stop, on the Wessex line, and although residents living nearby were told the work would start in July, it's already begun and is set to last over 50 days.

Martin Ridley lives close to where the noisy work is happening and told us he and 40 other people nearby aren't happy:

"We're looking forward to 50 nights of this over a 3 month period, virtually every night of the week, starting from midnight right through until about 6 o'clock in the morning.

It's very loud it's right on top of the houses."

Martin told us he and other villagers in Maiden Newton would've appreciated more warning and consultation from Network Rail:

"So we had no chance to discuss alternatives or any different ways of addressing these works, which we appreciate has to be done. But what we're concerned about is the inconvenience and distress that it's causing to a large number of local residents."

Network Rail told Wessex FM in a statement, warning letters should have been sent out to residents about the engineering works earlier, and that the work itself was vital:

"Work has begun to renew the railway through Maiden Newton as part of Network Rail's investment in improving our infrastructure."

"This will see the old but existing track replaced with its modern equipment, offering a better and quieter ride."

“In this case, we have become aware that the letters our contractor sent out warning about the work did not cover a wide enough area and this will be fixed as soon as possible. "

In response to Mr Ridley's call for consultation and a meeting with residents in their village hall, the infrastructure group declined:

"We are always happy to talk about our work with people and appreciate we need to be open about when we are planning to do things.

We don't consult on regular work, as to do so would mean we would be unable to plan ahead and maintain the railway properly.

Maintenance is done on cyclical basis and we cannot build consultation time and expense into that work. We have teams out every night of the year somewhere in the country.

Certainly though, if we are building something new, such as a bridge or a station building, then we would consult with residents and neighbours."

Network said the work by the Maiden Newton station would be finished early, by next week.

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