ANGRY residents claim they are suffering huge distress after construction work was stepped up at Shortlands Junction.

Railtrack has invested £40m in a two-year project to create a fly-over between Beckenham and Shortlands to integrate Eurostar services with existing passenger and freight trains.

A separate line is also being built behind the Tree Estate, in Bromley Road, in a bid to ease congestion caused by crossing trains.

Despite launching a petition and triggering a public inquiry, residents lost their battle to halt work at the site in December.

Now they say their worst fears have been realised as construction work increases.

Shortlands Residents' Association chairman Vera Harvey said: “The noise and mess has caused huge distress to residents.

“We were told there would be only four lorries an hour going through the village, but there seems to be significantly more than that.

“I have heard of people having problems gaining access to local roads because of building work. And we are stunned at the amount of mud running down the road. Residents are also upset at the cutting down of trees and vegetation.

“The whole thing has caused a great deal of resentment. It has proved as bad as we feared.”

Mrs Harvey insists the noise will increase when night work begins at the site. She added: “We are expecting it to get a whole lot nosier when they start night shifts. This will cause even more upset for residents.”

Railtrack spokesman Holly Garner said: “We have an agreement with Bromley Council to ensure we regularly monitor noise levels. We have also taken a number of other practical steps to reduce noise at the site.

“As for mud on the road we have a wheel-wash at the exit of the site which is permanently manned. All in all we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption for residents.”

A Bromley Council spokesman confirmed it had struck a deal with contractors about noise levels saying: “If they step out of line we will take action, but I'm not aware any action has been necessary so far.”