Busway work puts home on a precipice

Cancer patient pensioner Margaret Holt in her garden

Cancer patient pensioner Margaret Holt in her garden

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AN ANGRY resident has hit out at the misery caused by building work which has left a huge drop just metres from her garden fence.

Margaret Holt, from Leigh, says she has endured around six months of constant noise and vibrations during the construction of the controversial guided busway.

Margaret says the deafening noise and shaking has left her unable to open windows at her Hatherway Court home or sit in her garden, while excavators working in Lilford Brook have created an enormous drop to the construction site barely two metres from her boundary.

Margaret also says the noise has left her unable to get the rest she needs while undergoing treatment for cancer and is now angrily seeking compensation from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the organisation behind the busway.

She said: “I’ve been bombarded by continuous intrusion and vibrations, and this has been going on since May.

“I can’t actually see the work site from my house, but I know how big the drop is because the diggers disappear from view when they start work. I had a structural civil engineer come out last week and when he borrowed my neighbour’s ladder to look over the fence he was visibly shocked at the drop.

“I’m also undergoing treatment for cancer and I can’t get the rest I need because of the unbearable noise. I know they’ve had trouble in Lilford Brook but they should have looked into that before they started, and it’s also just how long it is taking to do the work.”

Margaret has contacted both TfGM and Leigh MP Andy Burnham about compensation for the disruption, but has been told residents looking to be recompensed should seek independent legal advice.

She said: “I’m a pensioner and can’t afford a solicitor but I really feel I should get something. We’ve had a lovely summer and I haven’t been able to sit out at all, I’ve just lost it.

“This has been going onand off since my diagnosis in February and more concerted work has been happening since April.”

TfGM and contractor Balfour Beatty have responded to Margaret’s complaints by installing noise monitors in her home, but said readings show the construction project has taken place within the agreed regulations for disruption.

A Balfour Beatty spokesman said: “These works are being carried out in accordance with the Construction Code of Practice and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.

“To ensure that our works do not damage or threaten the integrity of any properties along the route we are carefully monitoring the impact of our works, including noise and vibration levels, and we are liaising closely with individual residents.”

A spokesman for TfGM added: “Due to the proximity of this property to the busway works, we arranged for an independent engineer to carry out a structural survey.

“We await the full survey but initial feedback states the property is structurally in a ‘good, sound condition’.

“Advice from Balfour Beatty is that all work is being carried out in accordance with the Construction Code of Practice, with due consideration to the impact on nearby structures and falling with in the legal guidance for noise and vibration.”