9:36am Tuesday 18th June 2013
By Maxwell Kusi-Obodum
THEY are being driven round the bend by things that go bump in the night.
Now sleep deprived neighbours in Southampton could take drastic action over the rattling manhole covers they say are making their lives a nightmare.
Residents in Newtown Road, Sholing, are threatening to create a human roadblock close to the junction with Upper Weston Lane in a bid to force Southern Water to fix two metal covers which clatter loudly when vehicles drive over them.
The noisy manholes, within ten feet of each other, first began making the sound six weeks ago after the road was resurfaced.
Neighbours first contacted Southampton City Council two weeks ago, but were told responsibility lies with the water company.
Southern Water has apologised to residents and vowed to assess the problem.
But Narinder Dhaliwal, 54, who owns and lives above Premier Stores, opposite the junction, said: “I’m working 13 hours a day, seven days a week and I just feel worn out because I can’t get a proper night’s sleep.
“We feel we’ll have to do something like stand out there and block the road to stop people coming through or set up a petition.”
He says the noise starts from 4am as traffic builds up towards the morning rush-hour and goes on until 11pm.
Someone has even written ‘Fix me’ next to one and ‘Me too’ next to the other in green spray-paint on the road surface.
Things have reached a crisis point for pensioner Olga Entwistle, whose bedroom window is right next to the stretch of road.
The 90-year-old great-grandmother said: “You hear this ‘bang, bang, bang’ every time someone goes over it.
“I can’t sleep – I’m exhausted but even if I take my hearing aid out I can still hear it.
“When heavy lorries go over it, it’s terrible. They need to put some rubber in there to stop it.”
A Southern Water spokesman said: “We apologise to customers in Newtown Road for the noise caused by these manhole covers.
“We were first alerted to the problem on Monday and have arranged for them to be assessed, and if needs be repaired, as a matter of urgency.”
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