Pilgrims Hatch drain cover that 'sounds like gunshot' causes sleepless nights for residents

An Essex couple claim to have been left with sleepless nights due to a nightmare drain cover that "sounds like a gunshot" when vehicles drive over it. The defect on Ongar Road in Pilgrims Hatch has been reported to Essex Highways but remains a nuisance to locals Karen and Kevin West.

The husband and wife duo, who have lived in the area for several years, say the noise from the rocking cover when vehicles drive over it causes disturbed sleep. The pair, 67 and 64 respectively, have been patiently waiting for the local authority to resolve the situation.

"It's driving us absolutely bonkers," said Mrs West. "I have thought about getting sleeping tablets as it's waking me up so much. Now we're getting into the summer and need the window open during the night it's so intrusive."

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They said the noise is getting "louder and louder" and Mrs West has even considered "standing there until someone drags me away".

The sound of the rocking drain cover is said to be disrupting the sleep patterns of Kevin, who works as a surveyor, and receptionist Karen. Mrs West said: "We both work hard all day and need a good night's rest. With warm weather we need the windows open to get some fresh air in and we know we will be woken up around 4am when the traffic starts again.

"There's not enough sleep. We are usually in bed by 10pm. We're not night owls, we are regular people but exhausted as our sleep is disturbed."

Essex Highways were asked when the issue would be resolved. A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: "We are already aware of this noise issue and sent inspectors to investigate on 16 May. A job has been created to replace the drain cover and we are in the process of obtaining plans from utility companies before traffic management measures and excavation works can begin.

"We greatly appreciate residents’ patience and encourage them to track any issues they have told us about at www.essexhighways.org/track-it."

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