On 22nd June Network Rail wrote to neighbours about the resumption of tree cutting on the East Kilbride-Glasgow line, which was suspended due to Covid. The letter makes little or no reference to the previous discussions held between Network Rail and the Society, which raises concerns about their intent. Do they intend to stick to their promises, or not?
The letter to neighbours is available below, along with the Society’s response.
We have since had a reply by email from Owen Campbell of Network Rail, which is reassuring, and reproduced below.
I hope you are well.
As I am sure you will acknowledge, we have all been blown somewhat off-course by the unprecedented global events that have impacted on us. However, it remains our firm intention to fully engage with the Strathbungo society and other interested stakeholders as we carry out the vegetation clearance and throughout any project which may follow.
Our recent notification was similar to the one that we distributed in February to highlight the resumption of work and, as it was sent out across the whole route – some 10,000 addresses, is necessarily generic.
It could not address the detail of the discussions we had with the society however we can confirm that where the railway narrows and the six metre corridor takes us to the boundary, we will work to retain a screen by selectively targeting and removing only those trees which pose a safety risk either now or going forward.
More widely, we will also honour each of the ‘practical commitments’ which we outlined in earlier emails.
As work resumed, we had our ecologists and those of our contractor in place to specify, monitor and ensure that the work was being delivered appropriately. This will continue throughout.
It is our intention to ‘manage’ the railway embankment to control regrowth and ensure the corridor is safe for the railway and supports a habitat and environment that is no less diverse than at present. Including establishing or enhancing the hedgerow boundaries
And while mitigation for the trees cut will entail planting outwith the railway corridor, we remain open to the idea of doing this in the locale of where the trees were removed – without importing any future risk to the railway.
We will share any further information and updates with the community as early as we can and will work to maintain the consensus we had reached on how the delivery of this work will proceed.
I hope this response provides suitable reassurance.