Romford MP welcomes reduced works programmes from Network Rail.

Andrew Rosindell M.P. for Romford has met with Network Rail to discuss the proposed new works programmes for railways across Havering, including the railway lines between Romford to Gidea Park and from Romford to Upminster. 

At a meeting organised by Andrew at the Heath Park Road/Victoria Road railway bridge on Monday 24 January, Network Rail confirmed that only dead, diseased and dangerous trees will be felled.

The vast majority of trees will now be saved. This means that only a maximum of 40 trees will be felled, compared to the initial plan to fell around 600 trees along the route. 

Andrew has also proposed a new initiative to use Network Rail land for use by the local community and that residents and elected representatives should work together to create a “friends of the railway” or a “railway neighbours” group to keep the community spirit going and continue to work to improve and protect the natural environment along the railway line that runs through Romford and Hornchurch.

Andrew Rosindell M.P. said:

“Following the recent negotiations and consultations with Network Rail, I was pleased to meet with Charles Baker (Senior Public Affairs Manager) and Liam Allen on the road bridge at Heath Park Road. 

It was good to finally meet with Network Rail face to face along with other elected representatives Keith Prince A.M. and Councillor Judith Holt as well as local residents Gina and Aaron. 

It was encouraging to hear that Network Rail will only be felling a maximum of 40 trees along the railway lines between Romford to Gidea Park and from Romford to Upminster, on the ‘push and pull’ line. 

So far, it was confirmed to me today that only 17 trees have so far been identified as ‘dangerous, dead or diseased’ which are the three categories in which trees will be felled, although we have the assurance that the final number will be no more than 40. 

I am glad that the community have put politics aside and come together to really make a change and save our trees, this is so important in keeping Havering a ‘Town and Country Borough’ and keeping a wonderful green lung running through Romford. 

Residents value having trees, greenery and vegetation in their community so I am thrilled that Network Rail has reconsidered their works programmes thanks to constructive meetings with residents, local representatives and myself, therefore saving around 540 trees. 

It is a real victory for the community that we have successfully negotiated with Network Rail to reduce the number of trees marked to be felled from 600 down to a maximum of 40. 

I found it very encouraging that Network Rail has committed to working in the community to re-plant some of the trees elsewhere away from the railway where they cannot be a safety concern. 

One of the initiatives I have also proposed is to create a communal garden on Network Rail land with the tidying up of disused land and the planting of wildflowers and trees, possibly even some benches to help give something back to the community. 

This would be especially welcomed in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and it would be brilliant to get Network Rail involved in school and other community projects, including tree planting. 

I would really like to thank the residents’ group who have been so helpful to me and my team during this process but in general too and it is refreshing that we have people who really do love and care for our area. 

I would also like to pay tribute to Charles and Liam from Network Rail who have been extremely co-operative during the whole process and have worked with myself, the community, and Councillors to come to this solution. 

Even though there have been many mistakes on Network Rail’s part, I feel they have genuinely learned from those errors and are working to correct them, especially in terms of public consultation and communications.” 

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