Headache from HS2 sewer din goes on and on for residents

Disruption and noise in Adelaide Road

Friday, 5th August — By Frankie Lister-Fell

Adelaide Road

The works in Avenue Road

LOUD and disruptive sewer work in Belsize Park is due to go on for most of the month leaving residents asking why they have not been protected from the ear-splitting noise.

Eton Road and Adelaide Road will be closed until August 18 as contractors for the controversial rail scheme line and protect a sewer underneath the road. This is then to allow for the boring of the Euston tunnels.

HS2 had pledged to provide sound insulation measures to residents adversely affected by its work in Camden but said that the work at this location will not trigger the levels required for this.

Residents also learned this week that there will be extended working hours over the next two weekends.

Minicab driver Abdul Muhid, 47, who lives in a ground floor flat directly opposite the site, works nights, but said he can no longer sleep during the day because of the noise which begins at 7am and finishes around 4pm.
“I’ll sleep for a little bit and then the digging starts and then I wake up again and I put my pillow over my head,” Mr Muhid said.

He lives with his disabled 82-year-old mother who has several different medical conditions.
She usually catches a few hours of sleep throughout the day, but can also no longer sleep due to the roadworks.

Mr Muhid can “hear everything” from his window which looks onto Eton Road.

“I’ve complained a couple of times to HS2. It’s been two years now and they haven’t responded,” he said.

“Our government allows them to get away with it. HS2 is funded by taxpayers’ money. It’s ours. It’s our money and we’ve been completely neglected.”

A teacher who lives a few doors away, but did not want her name to be published, said: “We can no longer open our windows and we have recently had vents taken out of our French windows and had them reglazed to reduce the noise.

“All of this is our own money and time that we are spending.”

Public transport has also been affected.

While the work takes place, bus routes 31, N28 and N31 are on diversion. Residents think that more notice could have been given about travel disruptions.

Joan Lockwood, 49, has lived near Bridge Approach on Adelaide Road for the past three years.

“The good thing about HS2 is that they regularly send updates and flyers through our letter boxes,” she said.

“They also arrange Teams meetings on a regular basis. But when it comes to roads shutting they only gave us a week’s notice.

“It’s hugely inconvenient; they could just do a way better job letting people know with the road closures,” Ms Lockwood added.

With the 31 bus diverted, Beaumont Walk resident Neha Chawla, 30, said she has to walk from Swiss Cottage to her home, which adds 20 minutes to her journey.

A HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “HS2 and its contractors take the local impacts of construction very seriously.
“We have a dedicated community engagement team member available for residents surrounding the site and hold regular virtual and face to face meetings.

“We understand the concerns that come with living so close to a construction site and we are committed to minimising disruption as much as practicable.

“We take all complaints extremely seriously and have an extensive complaints policy and process.”

They added: “We use noise monitors and if noise level limits are exceeded work may be paused, the source identified, and mitigation put in place to prevent reoccurrence. Our performance on noise, vibration and air quality is published monthly.”

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