ELECTRIFICATION upgrade works on the Bolton to Wigan line have cause nightmare scenarios for locals in Westhoughton.

The works are essential for creating a more effective and environmentally friendly service.

But people living nearby were far from pleased this weekend with the intrusive noise and light created by National Rail workers.

In order for the improvements to the line to happen, several structures, of which Chew Bridge is one, need to be removed or replaced so that electric cables carrying 25,000 volts can be placed over the length of the track.

The bridge was demolished this weekend, with a new compliant one due to be built in its place on February 20.

Heaton and Lostock councillor, Andy Morgan, who was one of those affected by the disturbance, said: “It’s been absolutely horrendous. I appreciate work has to be done but it’s been constant since Friday.

“They’ve been banging and drilling, and the floodlights have been on. It’s been the whole weekend, nonstop. It’s unbelievable, the noise. It’s completely and utterly anti-social. No-one should have to put up with that.”

The works were scheduled to start at 11pm on Saturday and be completed on Sunday. But the floodlights were erected on Friday afternoon and the completion of the demolition was not until around 4am on Monday, so residents had to put up with the intrusion all weekend.

Cllr Morgan said: “I’ve had loads of phone calls about it. Some people live right next to the bridge and their homes were literally shaking. People are absolutely distraught. Some have said they thought about moving out while the work was on.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We’re sorry to residents in Westhoughton impacted by noise from the overnight removal of an old iron and brick bridge.

“We were doing this work to make way for overhead electric wires to power electric trains on the Wigan-Bolton line.

“The noisiest demolition work is now complete. All that remains is for the bigger bridge structure, which has room for electric wires to run beneath it, to be fitted into place on Sunday, February 20, which we expect will not be as noisy.”