Sudden end to weeks of noisy manhole misery

Residents on Orrell Road who were unhappy about a noisy manhole cover

Residents on Orrell Road who were unhappy about a noisy manhole cover

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RESIDENTS are breathing a sigh of relief after weeks of misery caused by a noisy manhole cover suddenly ended.

Wiganers living near the junction of Orrell Road and Shelley Drive had spent almost two months unsuccessfully bombarding Virgin Media with complaints about the cover, which made a loud banging sound every time a vehicle went over it.

Last night my little girl could sleep in her own bedroom for the first time in weeks. It’s unbelievable and we’re just very relieved and happy

Michelle Glaister

However, protesters turned up for a publicity photograph to find workmen just arriving on site.

The company redirected a van which was elsewhere in the region to Wigan just hours after the Evening Post rang the Virgin Media press office for its side of the story, though the company said the slow response was due to changing engineering contractors.

Engineers checked out the cause of the loud clacking sound and returned to the junction to carry out a full repair yesterday.

Residents today spoke of their relief the noise, which had continued day and night as the main road and access route to the M6 is extremely busy, was over but said they should not have had to go to such lengths to get the manhole cover fixed.

Michelle Glaister, whose children had been forced to move into the back bedroom due to the loud sounds, said: “Last night my little girl could sleep in her own bedroom for the first time in weeks. It’s unbelievable and we’re just very relieved and happy.

“I think it’s disgusting we’ve had to resort to this but I’m pleased we went down this road, otherwise we would have got absolutely nothing done about it.”

Fellow Orrell Road resident Mike Gibbons, 65, said: “I think it’s good news for the newspaper and it proves the media does work. It’s down to them we’ve been successful.

“However, I think it’s absolutely appalling that we have to go to such lengths to get something done. The incident shows Virgin Media up in a bad light.”

Mr Gibbons says he had been contacting Virgin Media for several weeks about the manhole cover and had also complained to Wigan Council, who said they could only report the problem to the telecoms company who owned it.

The noise had a serious impact on residents, with Mr Gibbons saying he was forced to wear ear defenders when mowing his lawn due to the constant loud banging and his grandchildren had stopped visiting the house due to the sound. He said: “It was 24/7, it never stopped crashing and banging. We are on a main road and the heavy vehicles going along it didn’t help.

“At times communication seemed to have completely broken down within their systems.

“There are about seven houses in close proximity and people were living in the back of their homes, trying to avoid the noise.”

Virgin Media said it was sorry for the delay in responding to the issue in Orrell.

Joe Thomas of Virgin Media said: “We apologise to residents for the inconvenience caused and are pleased to report the manhole cover has been repaired.

“Unfortunately following a change in engineering contractors we were not able to see to this issue as soon as we would have liked.

“Any damage to our cabinets or manhole covers can be reported by calling 0330 333 0444 and we will endeavour to assess and remedy any issues as soon as possible.”