CITY-DWELLERS living and working in the Northern Quarter are enraged as road-works which began in July 2009 continue to disturb their lives and businesses.
Residents and traders have suffered months of noise and disruption as the work to replace the underground labyrinth of Victorian water and gas mains continued across the city.
In the Northern Quarter alone, businesses are struggling to recover from the backlash caused by the construction.
Cat Watson, assistant manager of Dale St cafe, An Outlet, told of her annoyance last week when the water was shut off for the day.
“We couldn’t serve coffees or do any washing-up, so we saw a noticeable drop in takings for the day. Since they made Dale St one-way people even struggle to get to this end of the street.”
At the Piccadilly Basin car park next door, city supervisor for Town Car Parks, Mohammed Amir, gave a similar account:
“Construction workers just turned up on Monday with no notice whatsoever. I spent two days on the phone to United Utilities who have been completely inconsiderate and Inflexible.
I’m losing over £2000 a week because people can’t get into the car park.”
According to the United Utilities website, improvements in the Ancoats area were finished in July but the remnants of work still litter the intersection of Great Ancoats St, Oldham Rd, and Swan St.
Local resident, Sophia Warhurst, 22, of the Express Networks building on Oldham Rd, said:
“When we moved here in June, the road works were already in place. I can’t believe they are saying they finished in July when we have been subject to constant noise all summer!”
Another resident, Owen Manns, 29, added:
“The road works are actually causing a danger to the public. Crossing the road is a white knuckle affair because the pedestrian crossing is blocked by temporary railings!”
General discontent at the lack of information provided by United Utilities is rife amongst Northern Quarterites.
A call to customer services results in a referral to their website, which promises easy access to information regarding scheduled work dates.
Yet despite complaints of noise from residents, their website says that work on Dale St is to be confirmed.
Jonny Sture, 23, resident of the Langley Building on the corner of Dale St, said:
“Every morning I am woken by the earth-shattering sound of pneumatic drills and it’s been going on for months. It’s getting ridiculous.”
Similar disruptions across the city have been reported by local newspapers, in particular the chaos caused in the Deansgate area.