Here is a more detailed response from Network Rail recevied by the Society last month. The letter clarifies Network Rail’s position in more detail, such as regarding their concerns over the bridges and station building, and why they feel they must go. Whether or not you agree, or what you think should replace them, is up to you, but hopefully you will at least be more informed of their plans. Comments welcome as always.
From trying to ensure adherence to environmental standards over vegetation management along the embankment, to needing to explore the future of the former Station building on the bridge at Nithsdale Road, the Strathbungo Society has continued to correspond with Network Rail to explore what is planned in the area. Network Rail have been slow to respond, and not always fully forthcoming about either their intentions or timescales. Here we summarise the information that we have been able to gain as we believe that the Strathbungo community has the right to the information.
We Will Get Cleaner Air and Better Transport
There is good news. Electrification of the line between Central Station and East Kilbride has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government and is included in the current work programme. For anyone concerned with a cleaner, greener Scotland, this is welcome. Diesel power is responsible for toxic emissions including dioxides and particulates, pollutants with proven effects on health. Electrification will also mean a more reliable service for those who use the rail network.
We have amalgated a series of posts into one, so you can follow the development, or jump straight to the latest update. Older posts on the subject can also be found by searching the site for “Network Rail”.
Background to the issue
In September 2019 Network Rail notified residents along the East Kilbride line of vegetation management work. Past experience, notably in 2005, and current experience elsewhere around Glasgow, suggested “slash and burn”, or more correctly “slash and chip” approach was to be used, clearing all vegetation with little consideration for wildlife, biodiversity or environmental damage, as rail safety was prioritised above all else.
(Latest Update on 19 July 2020: NR’s second response, background on electrification)
Only a couple of weeks ago we were concerned that Network Rail were restarting tree felling along the railway line, and sought assurances that they would abide by previous agreements. They replied to reasssure us that they would. There remains a certain lack of trust around what Network Rail say, and what they do, so perhaps this was a sign of progress.
Jump forward to this week and we discover that, without any consultation with anyone, Network Rail were to demolish the old Strathbungo Station booking hall (more recently Susie’s Shop) on 18-19 July.
Some really positive news from today’s meeting with Network Rail regarding the line clearance through Strathbungo
As recents posts have indicated, Strathbungo Society had a meeting this morning -Friday – with senior managers from Network Rail. Kris Kinnear, Director of Capital Delivery and Alan Ross, Director of Engineering plus Niamh Hegarty, Senior Public Affairs Manager were in attendance.
This was made possible by the support of our local constituency MSP, Nicola Sturgeon, who kindly hosted and chaired the hour long meeting. The ongoing contribution offered by Nicola is very welcome and has already helped concentrate minds.
Background and update
After the Strathbungo Society heard that Network Rail proposed to clear all vegetation along Moray Place, we wrote to them copying in our local elected political representatives and politicians to express our concern. Ten days ago Network Rail responded to us 20 Sept Strathbungo Society NR Response. The Strathbungo Society has carefully considered this and believes that it raises far more questions than it answers so on Friday we responded to them. Set out below are what we believe are the substantive issues at stake. We would welcome comments either on social media or to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope local residents, and other people living along the Glasgow -E.Kilbride Line who will be affected by the proposed works, find it helpful and that it helps with further lobbying/campaigning.
This morning the Strathbungo Society received the welcome news that Network Rail’s proposed tree works on the Glasgow – E.Kilbride line won’t start this weekend. Nicola Sturgeon, our MSP, had earlier in the week secured agreement from Network Rail that they would meet with the Strathbungo Society. We asked her then to clarify whether Network Rail would suspend any work until we had a chance to negotiate and she has received the following reply from the Network Rail Communications Manager: “I have spoken to the project team and can advise that we won’t be doing any work for now on the stretch of railway between Nithsdale Road and Crossmyloof station.”
(Statement from Fiona Mackinnon on behalf of the Strathbungo Society)
Network Rail are planning to cut down every tree along the 11 miles of track between East Kilbride and Glasgow Central. Their timetable starts in September i.e . now. When the chainsaws and giant chippers plan to arrive to work all night in Strathbungo, we do not know.
The Chair, Treasurer and Secretary of the Society and a number of local residents went along on Monday night to Network Rail’s ‘drop-in information’ session but came away shocked by the potential scale of destruction planned but also by the lack of detail from Network Rail about what they will do and when. Most importantly there was no real explanation why.
The Network Rail Project Manager has provided the Strathbungo Society with an update on the footbridge works and apologised for the delay. The construction programme will now extend until 19th February 2019 and the footbridge will remain closed until then.
What’s happened is that significant structural defects, which had been hidden by many years of debris/gunge etc, were revealed during the process of cleaning and steelwork preparation. Specifically, far more corrosion was found beneath the Durbar plate deck than predicted. The deck is double layered and it appears was simply over plated at some point in the past. Network Rail made allowances for the corrosion beneath the deck but not to anywhere near the extent they have uncovered. As a result they now need to remove and renew the entire deck.
The good thing is that corrosion has been caught before it got any worse.
Network Rail will be holding a public drop-in event tomorrow, Tuesday 6th December 2016 in Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8QD from 3.30pm to 6.45pm. In attendance will be representatives from Network Rail and the Strathbungo Society, as well as their contractors, QTS, all of whom will be on hand to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about this work.
This is an opportunity to discuss
- what will happen to vegetation outside your house on Moray Place when work starts in February
- what replanting scheme, if any, you would like to see afterwards
We would really value your input. If you are a Moray Place resident, consider bringing a photo if you have particular concerns over vegetation opposite your house.
Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, 3.30pm to 6.45pm
Queens Park Baptist Church