24 OCTOBER 2023
By Lucy Ashton
Dame Jackie Baillie has welcomed steps which Network Rail are taking to reduce train noise following a packed community meeting in Cardross.
The Dumbarton constituency MSP brought representatives from the agency together with residents to discuss ongoing problems relating to noise from horns of trains passing through the village.
Miniature stop lights, similar to a traffic light system, had been designed for Bainfield Crossing.
Senior sponsor at Network Rail, Laura Mitchell confirmed that, by the end of this year, miniature stop lights will be installed at two out of three crossings within the village with the exception of Bainfield Crossing..
However they have been deemed not to be appropriate due to the proximity of the crossing to the station and the fact that many users are young people who are heading to school.
They cited an example in Elsenham in which two young people lost their lives explaining that users of the crossing may see the gates closed at Cardross station and assume that it is safe but not take into account that a train could be travelling in the opposite direction.
Network Rail described how the installation of the lights at the crossings locally known as Murray’s Crossing and Geilston Farm would mean that drivers would not need to use their horns at these locations once they become operational.
Cardross railway station where there’s concern over noise and safety issues. Picture by Bill Heaney
They were also open to further discussion on the matter and to seeking an alternative solution at Bainfield to the whistle-board which is currently in operation.
Dame Jackie Baillie said: “I want to thank the many people from the village who came to the community meeting. The attendance really showed the strength of feeling from residents and highlighted how keen people are to find a solution which provides ongoing safety and reduces noise levels for those who are worst affected, whilst ensuring that the crossing remains open.
“In addition, I have been inundated with emails and calls from people on the issue both before and after the meeting.
“It is clear that the opinions within the village vary depending on where people live as some people who live further away from the train-line experience more noise whereas those who stay closer to the line are not affected.
“On the night, there was a really healthy debate and local people made insightful suggestions which Network Rail will take away to work on. I am pleased that the agency’s representatives were willing to listen and reassure residents that they are taking this matter seriously.
“Everyone at the meeting agreed that the most important factor was people’s safety, but there is the possibility of finding a solution which will deliver on this and reduce noise.
“I am hopeful that, with the installation of the new lights at both Murray’s Crossing and Geilston Farm, this will see a significant reduction of noise.
“I look forward to catching up with residents and Network Rail early next year to find out if this has helped to address the problems and to see what further steps can be taken at Bainfield to maintain access, increase safety and reduce noise further.”
The packed meeting in Cardross to discuss noise and safety issues on the railway.