Concerns over tree felling at rail works

Concerns have been raised over the impact on the environment of Blackpool's rail line upgrade.

Friday, 5th May 2017, 3:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:46 pm
Network Rail has been working to upgrade the line

Network Rail bosses say the works, currently being carried out between Blackpool North and Preston will allow cleaner, greener electric trains to operate.

But one Fylde resident is concerned the work to install power lines is taking a toll in a different way.

Leslie Robinson, who lives close to the route of the line in Fairfield Road, Singleton, was shocked to see Network Rail clearing dozens of trees from along the line.

She said: “I know they have to clear some of the trees and vegetation. But this is mass destruction.

“This is bird nesting season and they seem to be taking no account of that. It is an offence to disturb nesting birds. This work should not be done in the nesting season.

“When you consider the scale of what they are removing it is a worry.”

Network Rail said appropriate precautions were being taken. A spokesman said: “Lineside vegetation can obscure signals, get blown onto the tracks, interfere with overhead line equipment or grow to an extent where our staff do not have a safe place to wait whilst trains pass. Our scope of work on the Preston to Blackpool North line is to clear vegetation within six metres of the running rail.

“Before work begins we undertake ecological surveys. Any protected species and nesting birds are identified so methods of working such as exclusion zones can be put in place.”