As part of work on issues surrounding the railway barrier, one of the issues was the parking of the British Transport Police vehicle.
British Transport Police Sgt Ryan Tierney was extremely understanding of the situation, and will be taking steps to ensure that the longstanding problems are stopped as soon as possible, following a meeting this week.
Specifically, the following were discussed–
- What exactly is the area for which BTP have responsibility—distance from crossing (barriers), –on footpath,– and adjacent to B7031.
- —(This remains uncertain, as Net Rail, and ORR have given differing information, and the crossing marking lines appear not to comply with the 2013 Crossing Order)——
- Where is the edge of the public road and footpath (B7031)
- —(This remains uncertain, as Net Rail, has denied being responsible for the footpath, but have dug it up twice in the recent past –it seems logical the road and footpath would Council responsibility–but there is no actual footpath across the station entrance road–but there may be an implied area ??)——
- Who enforces RTA’s, parking on yellow lines etc in Net Rail areas
- —(BTP, but the current No Parking signs need additional signage before they can be enforced as parking infringements, however, obstructive and dangerous parking can be enforced anyway–the RTA s apply in the station as a public area)——
- Why are BTP vehicles parked in the areas which are identified in the Road traffic acts and Highway code as areas not to be obstructed (In and Out lanes) eg-car reg no LV63NHD, YR13YGM, LV63NGN, YR13YGM, DA05ASL, etc
- —They should not be, and steps will be taken to stop this from now on –noted that the Camera Van was today parked with the nose-in the Net Rail yard, and was not obstructing any traffic–BTP are discussing whether the first parking space might be dedicated to BTP vehicles–KB suggested that cameras could be placed in the field opposite (with KC Contracts agreement), or fitted with a longer cable, so the van did not have to be so close–)——
- Why do BTP vehicles park beside No Parking signs, and on double yellow lines eg-car reg no LV63NHD etc
- —They should not be, and steps will be taken to stop this from now on)—
- Why is BTP equipment being placed on the footpath, obstructing this and forcing pedestrians onto the B7031roadway. Eg YR13YGM, DA05AZL etc
- —It should not be, and steps will be taken to stop this from now on)—
- Why are BTP parking in locations which force pedestrians into the path of vehicles on the entrance road eg-car reg no LV63NHD etc
- —They should not be, and steps will be taken to stop this from now on )—
- Why are BTP vehicles parked facing oncoming traffic into the station (‘’wrong side of road’’) eg-car reg no LV63NHD etc
- —They should not be, and steps will be taken to stop this from now on–they are there to pursue anyone who crosses under flashing lights–but there appears to be no safe place between the station and the A71 where it would be safe to stop a vehicle anyway ? KB raised concern that any car speeding out of the station -on the wrong side of the road–may hit a pedestrian ? )—
- Why are BTP vehicle being parked with engines running for periods of 5 minutes to several hours eg-car reg no LV63NHD etc
- —They require to have their radio equipment and ancillaries charging to prevent a flat battery when they are placed to pursue anyone who crosses under flashing lights. However, they do have personal radios, which function at the same time. New future vehicles may be fitted with additional batteries to cope with this without engines running avoidable. KB pointed out motor caravans all have a system where the ancillaries come from a separate battery and a simple relay allows them to be charged when the vehicle is moving–the problem is in the way the systems are designed? )—
- Why has nothing been done by BTP about this –over a period in excess of 2 years —BTP can offer no explanation, and are concerned at the reputational damage this has done to their aim of being a part of the Community–and not a problem to it. There is a new Inspector in charge of disciplinary matters and it is expected things will now improve )—
- Officer 7170 (and others previously) attitude to being advised of :-obstruction of road and obvious dangers to pedestrians, vehicles, and potential blockage of crossing, due to vehicles entering car park from the South, being unable to see the obstruction prior to entering the yellow box, and being unable to fully enter the station due to the obstructing vehicles, and any coming out of the station. Exacerbated by the sometimes barely visible yellow box.
- —They should not be ignoring public complaints–and probably would take note and action if this was in a larger station )—
- .— ( BTP would wish to be involved with the community, and were interested in the Crossing Liason meetings–incl WLC Roads etc. BTP would be please to come to any Community Council Meetings and take note of or explain any matters of concern)—
- Ryan Tierney is familiar with the crossing–have been involved in the past with observations, and been involved in investigations into the incidents/accidents recently, and a while back at camps Junction
- Kenny Birch metioned the imminent 50 car park expansion, and the future further 250 car park expansion, which RT said gave case for concern at the amount of traffic at the combined crossing and Tee junction, especially with the long closed times and delays. These are leading to ‘public contempt’ for the crossing, and the view that Network Rail have nothing but contempt for the Crossing users.
- RT queried why there was no footbridge in view of the traffic, delays, and proximity of the footpath to the roadway–and no kerbs separating. KB outlined the history.(see attached)
- KB expressed concern at the careless and slipshod Network Rail actions and work— pointed out the missing section of platform end barrier, noted the Crossing markings do not comply with the Set-out published, and the crossing did not comply with the Crossing Order, although NR had at last levelled the crossing, and relaid the road and footpath to eliminate the icy puddles, ramps –and kerbs preventing wheelchar users escaping from a closed crossing, –without going back onto the rails.
- KB raised the matter of long pointed steel spikes being left by NR in the car park, and on the grass at the South side–and noted these could be treated as offensive weapons if carried around or taken on a train. RT also concerned that children might throw them at a train, or onto the lines. (as might someone who has waited 10 minutes or half an hour in rain and snow for a second or third train to come, and the crossing to open)
- RT concerned that there is no footpath or separation of road and foot traffic on the entrance road–at best there is a puddle-ridden gravel track from the crossing to the platform steps–which no-one is likely to use-especially in rain and icy conditions. RT will raise with NR.
- KB raised the matter of the missing footpath on the North side of the tracks, to the Whitehill farm tunnel–which would provide an alternative pedestrian route when the crossing fails–as it does regularly.
- RT asked KB and KCC to remain in contact over any ongoing or outstanding matters, and confirmed he would be taking steps to remedy all the above problems asap.
- KCC are welcome to a representative from BTP at meeteings whjen required.
- The WLC/KCC/Net Rail etc Liason Meeting may be able to tackle the unresolved matters re limits and markings
KB thanked Sgt Ryan Tierney on behalf of the crossing users and Kirknewton Residents, for the time and information provided, and proposed actions to prevent problems and risks arising in the future.
A copy of the document listing the history and problems was provided to RT, and a copy is attached.