Doorstep roadworks ‘hemmed us in’- claim

Some of the vehicles used in the construction project lined up at Patrick Street.
Some of the vehicles used in the construction project lined up at Patrick Street.

Residents living in a city centre street have claimed it has been used as a construction yard for round-the-clock roadworks in the area.

Several residents from Patrick Street spoke to the Journal this week to register their anger at the disruption caused by a programme of public roadworks on their street and in the surrounding area.

Old tarmac cordoned off on the roadside at Patrick Street.

Old tarmac cordoned off on the roadside at Patrick Street.

They said that they have had to live with a barrage of noise, drilling, lorries coming and going and on one occasion a fleet of steam rollers using the street, causing their homes to shake.

The residents have vowed to hold a protest if those at the helm of the roadworks do not agree to their demand for a meeting to discuss the concerns.

They claimed that one elderly woman, who had just left hospital, was found on the street in the early hours of the morning with her zimmer frame because she could not stand the noise.

Another elderly resident, they said, had to be taken over the border to stay to get away from the noise.

A 72-year-old woman who lives on the street said that while the works had finished for now, it had been a living hell: “It’s been awful. I have asthma, it gets really bad with noise, I can’t breathe and the noise has been awful.

“Our street was used as the council yard, all the big trucks were parked in the night.”

One man claimed his ceiling cracked the night the steam rollers came along.

Speaking about the work vehicles he said: “This was the second Motorman of Derry because we were hemmed in and they were bigger than the Chieftain tanks that came into Creggan.

“We got no sleep for a week, we’re all running about with sore heads.”

Most residents were informed by letter that there would be disruption over three days from 9.30am to 4pm. A telephone number was provided for residents who had concerns about noise.

However the residents said that the noise disturbance went on at all hours and lasted way beyond the three days stipulated on the letter.

A second man said residents were afraid that the row of trucks lined up and interlocked outside their front doors may have been subjected to an arson attack, with some residents taking it upon themselves to keep watch each night.

A DRD spokeswoman responded that no requests have been made as yet to meet with the residnets, but that Transport NI would be happy to do so.

She said: “The £290,000 resurfacing scheme around Patrick Street area is now complete, with only road markings to laid down later this week.

“This was a difficult scheme to undertake as we could not close this road due to the disruption to the commercial heart of the city.

“There was a decision made to do work at night to complete the work as quickly as possible.

“TransportNI were aware of one pile of tarmac in front of one house and this was removed within hours of being informed.

“Transport NI are more than happy to meet with residents if requested.

“A letter drop of the work was sent to all properties in the area to inform them of the work in advance of the scheme.”