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Villagers Given Ear Plugs To Deal With Noisy Railway Work

Maiden Newton Rail Works

2:57pm 13th August 2014
(Updated 11:39am 14th August 2014)

Residents in Maiden Newton say they're still being kept up at night because of the engineering works on the railway line near their homes.

They say bosses responded to their complaints by giving villagers earplugs to cope with the noise.

Martin Ridley is a resident living nearby to the works, he said: "When we were first raising our concerns and objections, their response was that each household along the railway line got supplied with two sets of industrial earplugs, which we found slightly ironic."

"I think it may well have been done with the best intention, but I think the impression we got was that they certainly weren't interested in our concerns, it's staggering."

Network Rail are around half way through the planned improvement works, which involves renewing the tracks, which in some places are over 50-years old.

Residents are angry that Network Rail didn't consult with anyone locally before starting the works, and instead let people know the day works were due to commence.

Martin said: "As the people facing the works for four months, we've had no consultation or discussion with them what the options might be."

"This is a local, small line with a large group of houses facing the railway line, so this work is going on in front of these houses six hours a night, five nights a week for four months."

Sally Falkingham from Maiden Newton Parish Council say even they weren't informed of the planned disruption during the evening. However, she says the works are well overdue and need to be done: "The condition of the track is such that they've had to put in a speed limit.

"10 years ago, it was faster than it is now because they've had to put in so many speed limits until the track is replaced."

Sally also said the parish council have done everything in their power to address the issue. She added: "We've also referred to West Dorset District Council's environmental noise and light pollution team who'd only received one complaint from a local resident, and they can only act on complaints from residents, not the parish council. People have to complain to West Dorset District Council themselves."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are carrying out improvement work to the railway through Maiden Newton as part of a multi-billion pound investment in improving Britain’s rail network. Our work here will see the existing track replaced and updated, offering a better and quieter ride and more reliable infrastructure.
"Work to improve the railway often has to take place at night when passenger trains are not running. This work can be noisy but we and our contractors do everything we can to keep any disruption to a minimum.
“We have been in contact with residents in the area to notify them of our work. Anyone wanting any further information or who wishes to raise any concerns can contact the 24-hour Network Rail national helpline on 08457 11 41 41.”
Work on the renewals began at the start of June and will complete in October.

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