Pytchley Road work making couple’s lives a misery

Work under way on the Pytchley Road bridge in Kettering
Work under way on the Pytchley Road bridge in Kettering

A Kettering couple who live near the Pytchley Road bridge say their lives have been made a misery by night-time construction noise.

Gail and Kev Shephard, of Miller Close, said their whole house has been shaken by the work, which Network Rail began on December 9.

The couple say the overnight work on Saturdays is particularly noisy and means they have been kept awake almost all night at weekends.

Mrs Shephard said: “For some reason they think it’s good practice to work through the night and do nothing during the day at weekends.

“Last Saturday [December 14] was horrendous and we were kept awake from about 1.45am.”

The couple say their misery will be compounded by the planned demolition of the bridge, which will be taking place from 10pm on Christmas Eve and which is expected to carry on until Friday, December 27.

Mrs Shephard added: “Why on earth do they have to do the work over the Christmas period?

“I appreciate this work has to take place.

“However, I do not appreciate the fact that no consideration is being given to ourselves during this time or to the fact that it is making us feel very unwell.”

Mr and Mrs Shephard have written to Network Rail and to Kettering MP Philip Hollobone to complain about the noise levels being made by the work.

They also asked Network Rail to monitor the noise levels from inside their Miller Close home – but Network Rail refused that request.

Apart from the noise, Mr and Mrs Shephard say they are also angry that a fence at the rear of their property was removed by Network Rail’s contractors after the company said it was on Network Rail-owned land.

Mrs Shephard said: “We’re in dispute about that and we don’t want to go to the expense of getting the deeds for the property.

“They have offered to replace the fence, although they have not confirmed that they will definitely do it yet.”

In a response to the couple, Network Rail community relations advisor Michael Bowles said: “Safety is our number one priority and for this reason work of this type must be carried out while trains are not running.

“Under our licence conditions we are contractually obliged to work, whenever possible, at times that cause the least disruption to train services.

“Unfortunately, this means carrying out a lot of our improvements during the night and at weekends.”

The Pytchley Road bridge work is expected to be completed by February 28 next year.

CLOSURE

Network Rail says the temporary footbridge adjacent to the Pytchley Road bridge is to be closed to all foot traffic from 10pm on Christmas Eve, until about 4.40am on Friday, December 27.

The footbridge is for pedestrians, cyclists and motorised scooters, although cyclists are being asked to dismount while crossing the bridge.

Engineers say that while the bridge is closed, there will still be access to properties in Pytchley Road from both ends of the roadworks and a diversionary route for motorists along Barton Road will be in place.

Network Rail says it expects the new bridge to be opened on Friday, February 28.

The work is part of a £70m scheme to improve journey times for trains on the Midland Mainline between Sheffield and London.