METAL plates covering holes in a village road have been causing sleepless nights for neighbours.

Residents of Yates Lane and Morley Lane, Milnsbridge, had suffered a week of noise and broken nights while repairs to a gas leak were completed.

United Utilities began digging up the road at the junction of two lanes on the afternoon of February 17.

Work stopped at around midnight and metal plates were placed over the holes so vehicles could pass across the junction.

But every time a vehicle drove over the plates – day and night – they rattled loudly disturbing neighbours.

Maureen Row, who lives close to the junction, said the noise was akin to a pile driver – a heavy industrial machine which forces foundations into the ground for building on top.

Mrs Row, 69, said: “It’s like a constant pile driver on a construction site every time a vehicle goes over it.

“At 2.15am there’s a lull in the traffic until 4.15am when it starts again.

“It’s very, very loud. There’s old people in bungalows and flats overlooking it. They’re all complaining about it.

“It’s affecting everyone’s life in the area.

“It’s pretty poor when it’s disturbing the people in the vicinity. You can’t get away from it night and day. It’s driving me mad.”

Colne Valley councillor Christine Iredale added: “It’s bad enough during the day but it must be horrendous during the evening and night. This is really not acceptable.”

United Utilities’ Gwen Evans said: “United Utilities operates the area’s gas emergency service on behalf of pipeline owner Northern Gas Networks.

“We recently completed essential repair work to a gas main on Yates Lane in Milnsbridge close to its junction with Morley Lane.

“A metal plate was used to cover the excavation and keep the road open while engineers planned the best way to reinstate the road with minimum disruption.

“Unfortunately, this plate became loose and rattled when traffic went over it.

“We sent a team to pack it with tarmac but the repeated weight of traffic caused it to be become loose again. We are sorry for any disturbance this may have caused.

“The good news is the road should be back to normal by today.

“We cannot reinstate the road without closing it because it is one-way so, to minimise disruption, we will work through the night from get the job done.”

Mrs Row later called to say that while work started yesterday morning, one metal plate was still in the road and still noisy.

A spokeswoman for United Utilities said the company would be working through the night to finish the work this morning and apologised for any inconvenience it had caused.