Midnight roadworks, part 2

by Suw on January 23, 2008

Just before 8pm this evening, it started again. Out came the angle grinders, the pneumatic drills, the machines that rip up the tarmac, and the lorries to take it away. God knows how long it’s going to go on for tonight.

I rang Islington council this morning to complain. A very polite chap took notes of my call, and promised to pass it on to the Highways Department, and that someone would get back to me. Someone did. A very nice lady called me back to let me know that this particular road is not the responsibility of Islington Council, but of Transport for London and someone from there would call me.

Well, I guess the chances of anyone ringing me back from Transport for London are nil, but the nice lady from Islington Council gave me their phone number, so tomorrow I will call them.

It’s not just the noise that upsets me, it’s the total lack of communication. No one has let us know that our lives are going to be disrupted. We have no idea what the hours of work are. We have no idea how many nights our sleep is going to be disrupted. And the worst thing is that there seems to be no reason for this work to be carried out during the night at all. Only a few weeks ago they had two lanes closed during the day so that they could do roadworks, and the traffic tailbacks didn’t seem to bother them then. So why is this different? Why is it so important that drivers not be inconvenienced that they are willing to ruin our sleep?

I made a point of going to Boots this afternoon to buy ear plugs. I got two different sorts, and I hope that one of them is comfortable enough to fall asleep in, and that they work well enough to cut out the noise – which is a lot louder tonight than it was last night. But I shouldn’t have to buy earplugs to get to sleep in my own, otherwise relatively quiet bedroom. I shouldn’t have to deal with the stress and tension caused by this. There’s just no good reason for it.

Tomorrow, a call to TfL, and a letter to my MP.

Vincent January 24, 2008 at 8:26 am

I sympathise – there are few things worse than having your sleep disrupted like that, particularly because the effects carry over to the next day. Personally, whoever’s doing the roadwork should take the view that inconveniencing residents trying to get some sleep is worse than inconveniencing daytime traffic.

Suw January 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

I couldn’t agree more, Vince. It seems that they were re-tarmac-ing the whole crossroads, but I’m sure they could have done that leaving a lane open, even if the lane shifted. But worse was the fact that there was no warning, and no information about how long it was (or is) going to go on for.

I just hope that it’s all done now. But still, I’ll be writing to my MP today.

Stephanie Booth January 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm

When I was living in my first flat, I went through this for two nights in a row. I lived just next to a heavy traffic street, and the “best” moment for these rather invasive roadworks was in the middle of the night, when nobody really uses the road. (This was central Lausanne, though, not really a residential area.)

Well, I was glad I was on holiday and could sleep during the morning, because drills from 11pm to 3am, as you very astutely note, don’t really make for a good night’s sleep.

What I have to say though is that we were forewarned. The city sent a letter to all affected inhabitants, explaining why this was the only solution to have the road re-done, and asking for our understanding and apologizing.

I think this is a much more elegant way of handling things (even if roadworks suck in the middle of the night anyway). Advance notice like this can even give people the chance to arrange for sleeping elsewhere if it’s really important to them.

So, really sorry about what you’re going through. It sucks. And I find it quite appalling that you weren’t at least given advance notice.

featherduster January 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm

I really hope you have managed to get some sleep/they have stopped. Mr F was horrified when I showed him your vid.
Noticed it was St Dwynwyn’s day last week which made me think: “ah that’s when Suw got engaged” closely followed by “I haven’t seen Suw in a really long time”.
On a matter unrelated do you know why it says webpage not found when I log on to you? I can see the site but that ‘helpful’ little message pops up at the top.

Suw January 30, 2008 at 8:24 am

@featherduster: I have no idea why you are getting a ‘webpage not found’ error. *puzzles*

And yes, we should go for a drink some time soon. 😀 (Where ‘soon’ = March!)

Suw January 30, 2008 at 1:27 pm

@steph: Yeah, the lack of notice was appalling, especially as they only went on for two nights and it would have been much easier to cope if I’d known it wasn’t going to be ongoing. Still, I have made a formal complaint and will still contact my MP when I have a moment.

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