RESIDENTS on a Smithills street had a rude awakening — when workmen started filling in potholes at 4.40am.

Stunned residents in Church Road could not quite believe their bleary eyes as they were woken by the noise then looked out of their bedroom windows to see workers filling in potholes.

Bolton Council has now apologised and said the work should never have taken place so early in the morning.

Residents in Church Road who confronted the workmen were asked: “When would you like us to do the repairs?”

Dad Rob Coen, aged 48, said council staff later took more than six hours to respond to his complaints and were rude and unhelpful when they eventually called him back.

Mr Coen, a bricklayer who has lived in Church Road for 26 years, said he rang the council at 8.15am, was put on hold for 25 minutes and did not receive a call back from the relevant manager until 2.30pm.

He said: “The noise for the time of day was completely unacceptable and woke the whole household up, not to mention the other residents.

“I asked the workmen what was going on and their reply was they had been told to carry out these repairs at this time.

“Once they had started they did quite a few potholes on the street.

“It wasn’t just me - I could see a few people at their windows watching what was going on.

“It was just far, far too early, and the manager just said, ‘when would you like me to do them?’.

“His tone and manner was extremely rude.”

A council spokesman said: “We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to residents.

“The pothole repairs were required and on occasion we are required to work during the night.

"However, on this occasion this work should never have taken place at this time and we will make sure that this doesn't happen again.”

Mr Coen, who lives with his wife and son in Church Road, said he did not believe the repairs would last long.

He added: “The road surface on Church Road is disgraceful and to me I don’t think the repairs will last longer than a year.

“This is what the council do, patch it up rather than relay the road.

“It was only a matter of months ago that they patched them up last time.”