It’s been dubbed the “Kylie Minogue of roadworks” because those living nearby just can’t get it out of their heads. And now residents of Gloucestershire living near the A40 have launched a petition to complain.
Highways chiefs have apologised for inflicting roadworks on thousands of residents after admitting the warm weather and summer winds mean many more people than first thought are being kept awake by machinery noise as vital repairs are carried out.
But last week hundreds signed a petition calling for action after saying the sound was driving them to distraction.
Gloucestershire County Council’s scheme manager Scott Macaulay-Lowe said he had heard the noise for himself and agreed with residents when it came to how impossible it is to ignore the thumping sound from the pile driving machines.
“It is loud and it’s one of those noises that once it’s in your head it’s hard to get rid of,” he said. But he added: “We have to push on with these works.”
The highways manager was speaking out after residents in Longford started a petition to stop the overnight roadworks at the Over roundabout on the A40 which involves drilling hundreds of 16-metre long metal poles into the ground in order to support the road.
Gloucestestershire County Council say the work has to be done at night because it would cause too much disruption in the daytime and cause long delays on the A40, the A417 and the A38 which are major routes.
But residents say it is keeping people awake for miles around
The project started on April 30 and the pile drivers moved in at the end of May.
Mr Macaulay-Lowe admitted the council should have warned more people about the works which are due to finish at the end of August, but said they did not know how far the noise would travel.
He said GCC consulted Gloucester City and Tewkesbury Borough Councils environmental health departments about noise pollution beforehand and had been given the go-ahead to proceed.
Councils can serve a notice on people carrying out construction or demolition works and tell them how the work should be carried out to avoid a potential statutory noise nuisance.
The notice can specify any of the following:
• a noise level
• the plant or machinery that can be used
• the hours when work can be done
• steps that need to be taken to minimise noise
Those failing to comply with the notice can be prosecuted and fined an unlimited amount, with further fines for each day that they fail to comply.
People can also apply for consent to carry out work. They must include details of all the following:
• the works
• how the work will be carried out
• what steps will be taken to minimise noise resulting from the works
The council must give consent for the work to go ahead if it’s satisfied that both:
• the application contains enough information
• it won’t need to serve a notice to control noise on the construction site
In some cases, construction projects get the go-ahead for night-time works – usually to minimise disruption in the daytime and make the length of the project shorter.
However, developers and contractors have to comply to certain rules to prevent excessive noise pollution.
Often this includes some form of acoustic barriers.
Ours have been scientifically developed by leading acoustic engineers and are the most effective temporary noise control solutions on the market.
These could be the perfect solution to the ongoing issues in Gloucestershire.