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SOUTH EAST WATER: Anger over noisy night work in village near Maidstone

Friday 27th May 2022

RESIDENTS have hit out at a water company for starting noisy emergency repair works at night without notice or warning.

The workers subcontracted to South East Water moved into Upper Street, Leeds, on May 3, after a leak appeared.

It is the latest in a string of broken pipe problems locals blame on huge volumes of traffic, including illegal lorries on the B2163, with renewed calls for a south Maidstone relief road.

Mother-of-four Louise Menenes-Bautista said: "It was horrific. My two youngest children, who are at primary school, struggled to get to sleep with the racket outside.

"There was absolutely no notice of the works. They just turned up and started drilling.

"This didn't sound like any old drill - this was real, heavy-duty machinery they seemed to be using. This is the umpteenth time they have had to dig up this road and it's all down to the huge amount of traffic and the illegal lorries going through."

Another resident, a secondary school teacher, said: "They shut the road without a word of warning and started making a terrible racket. I had to get out of bed, get dressed, put a coat on to go outside ask them to stop shouting and swearing.

"They claimed they weren't swearing but I could hear them from my bedroom, effing this and effing that."

Last year local county councillor Gary Cooke said: "We have been suffering leak, after leak, after leak in Leeds and maybe we have got to accept we have a very old pipe network that keeps failing. Everybody suffers.

"It is hard to believe that the number of vehicles does not have an impact. It strengthens my and others' calls for an end to inertia and start talking seriously about a relief road."

South East Water apologised for the disruption adding: “Our team was carrying out an emergency leak repair and it was carried out at night following a request from the local highways team to mitigate the impact the work may have caused on traffic in the area if it was done during daylight hours.”

A water main replacement is due to be installed in the summer of 2023 while a reinforcement of the existing pipework will happen in July.