Neighbours' anger over Camden roadworks which went on until 4am
PUBLISHED: 09:55 09 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:55 09 June 2016
Disgruntled residents in Camden Town are demanding compensation after enduring five sleepless nights because the council allowed a subcontractor to work until 4am on a cycle lane scheme.
Camden Council allowed its contractor, Conway, to carry out noisy nocturnal work in Royal College Street on five separate occasions over the last three weeks, including last Saturday and four weekday nights.
Resident Charlotte Moss said that in the early hours of Sunday morning, tearful residents took to the street in their dressing gowns to beg the workmen to down tools - which included jackhammers - so they could finally sleep.
Ms Moss, who works as a marketing manager, said: “The work has been going on since last September, and we thought it was bad enough having to put up with the noise in the day.
“But we were totally unprepared for the five nights of work. The letter we received from the council made no mention of night work, although there was apparently a second letter - but 80 per cent of the people I’ve spoken to don’t seem to have received it.
“It’s outrageous, and I can’t believe that it’s legal, or that anyone could think it’s okay to inflict this on anyone.
“Because it’s a main thoroughfare trough north London, they seem to be treating the road as though it is a motorway rather than a residential street where families with children live on either side.”
Following Saturday night’s confrontation between residents and workmen, an engineer allegedly told those complaining they should call the police if they were unhappy - but police refused to investigate because there was a council permit for the works.
Ms Moss’s partner, Benjamin Tansey, who works in finance, has called on the council to guarantee there will be no more works through the night and for a month’s rebate on council tax to compensate for the inconvenience.
Mr Tansey said: “Camden has proved unable to plan or communicate effectively with residents.
“All the channels we have had to complain have been exhausted, and they are still keeping us up at night. We feel powerless. It has to stop.”
Another resident, Conor O Brien, said: “Not only has it taken nearly a year to lay down two cycle paths, and there has been constant disruption during the day, but much has involved doing the same job twice - jackhammers digging the same stretch of road twice, and recently the road surface being laid for a second time.
“It is simply unbelievable that the council can consider this as acceptable. And if the council is happy for the job to take a year, surely they can afford to wait a bit longer and only block the road off at weekends during the day.”
Camden’s chief of transport, Cllr Phil Jones, said it was “impractical” for the work to be carried out during the day due to the high volume of traffic using the route.
He said: “We apologise to residents who have experienced this disruption. I can confirm that these works are almost over and that no further late night works will take place here.
“These important works are to create a safer space and improve travel conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, and were backed by residents in our public consultation in 2014. We expect these improvements to be completed in June.”