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.”
We have been informed that Nicola Sturgeon has gone back to Network to clarify the position on the rest of the line. When our MSP, who happens also to be First Minister, receives vague replies like “for now” it helps one appreciate the extent of the problem with Network Rail.
Meanwhile the Society is delighted to report the support we have received from other local political representatives:
- Our MP, Alison Thewliss, last week wrote to Network Rail to express her concerns and ask them them to meet with us
- One of our local Councillors, Jon Molyneux, and Patrick Harvie, one of the list MSPs for Glasgow are today meeting Network Rail – we understand to discuss concerns about tree management by Network Rail across the whole of Glasgow and wider area. We understand they have been linking with other politicians in and outwith Glasgow to look at what is happening on the line as a whole. Jon attended the Strathbungo Society meeting on Tuesday.
- Bailie Norman Macleod has also written to Network Rail asking them to meet with us and local elected representatives before any work starts. As chair of the Pollokshields Area Partnership – effectively the local council committee for our area which includes community representatives (including the Strathbungo Society) – he has also written to Network Rail asking them to come to the next Partnership Meeting on the 3rd December to engage in dialogue with the wider local community. (Both Pollokshields Heritage and Pollokshields Community Council are very concerned about the proposed works).
The work, however, has only been suspended “for now”, there is a lot of negotiating to do and no guarantee of any agreement. The Strathbungo Society is pursuing a number of other actions which we will report back on in due course but for us to success its really important that both Network Rail and our locally elected political representatives continue to hear directly from local residents. Please help keep up the pressure.