After intense discussions with Network Rail in support of local residents, Andrew Rosindell M.P. for Romford, is pleased to announce that only the very minimum work will be done on the railway lines between Romford to Gidea Park and Romford to Upminster, in a revised and scaled back programme of works.
Andrew Rosindell M.P. said:
“I am delighted that Network Rail’s senior management team have engaged with me in sensible and constructive negotiations over therailway lines between Romford to Gidea Park and from Romford to Upminster, on the ‘push and pull’ line.
I was shocked and angered this morning when Network Rail contractors continued to chop down trees and felling historical oak trees even after Network Rail had assured me that this would stop immediately.
Network Rail told me that ‘contractors shouldn’t be doing anything other than removing low-lying vegetation.’
It also is welcome news that Network Rail has agreed to meet with me, local Councillors, residents and other key stakeholders next week to have meaningful conversations on the proposed works programme.
Senior management at Network Rail has given me their personal assurance that as little work as possible will now be done in terms of tree removal.
They had previously advised me that they would be clearing all material, including trees and vegetation within 6.5 metres of the rails, although I have now been told that contractors will be instructed to leave as much as possible in place, where it doesn’t interfere with the infrastructure.
Network Rail told me that ‘beyond that, we’ll only be working on trees that represent a safety risk. Our approach will be to cut back or reduce these trees in height but not remove them.’
It has been made clear that the clearing of all vegetation from track to fence line will very much be a targeted, ‘light touch’ approach.
I look forward to meeting with the senior management team responsible and the service delivery team from Network Rail as well as local Councillors and local residents next week to discuss Network Rail’s proposed works programme.”
Charles Baker, Senior Public Affairs Manager at Network Rail said:
“We know residents in Havering are passionate about protecting the environment. We’ve listened to the concerns they’ve raised about our vegetation management work in this area.
As a result, we’ve reviewed our plans so we’re sure they minimise the impact on trees and vegetation by the railway but do what is needed to protect those travelling and working on the railway.
This means we’ll be removing vegetation that’s within 6.5 metres of the running rail that could interfere with the track and other railway equipment, or prevent staff from being able to safely access these.
We may need to work on other larger trees if they are dead, diseased or a significant safety risk.
We’ll do all we can to leave them in place and wherever possible, trees will be cut back or reduced in height but not removed.”