No Big Society for Network Rail

In my long running battle to get something done with the new ‘second-hand’ Stepping Stones Bridge in Spalding, I have been communicating with Network Rail, the company that installed this poor excuse for a pedestrian link across the railway line.

Two issues have been raised time and time again by residents since the bridge was installed and in an effort to get these resolved, I registered a formal complaint with Network Rail’s customer contact line.  Up until now, the people I spoke to on the phone were polite and helpful, as was a Community Relations Advisor in our email exchanges.

However, I have now run in to one of those faceless, self important bureaucrats, otherwise known as a brick wall, that one sometimes encounters in these big organisations.  Below is an email response this person sent to me tonight (Tues) and I think most reasonable people would find its tone extremely high handed and completely dismissive of the concerns that I have raised on behalf of Spalding residents.

Dear Mr Gambba –Jones

Thank you for your comments on the replacement steppingstones footbridge which is a standard design used extensively across the infrastructure.

Regarding time scales for a response to your queries.

I will be in a position to respond regarding the weep holes in 2 weeks

Regarding the lighting I would suggest you note my earlier comments, the light is the responsibility of The Council, Network Rail has no obligation to light public footpaths, you should make contact with the relevant Highway Department, neither am I prepared to permit you sight of agreements between Network Rail and The Council without a formal request from the relevant party in The Council.

Should the Council wish to access Network Rail land to repair this light arrangements can be made through our Asset Protection team, again I would be happy to provide them with a contact on request.

Regards *** ***** (name removed to protect the guilty)

Having re-read this person’s email (note that I’m avoiding any reference to their gender), I actually find their tone pompous, arrogant and mildly offensive and can almost picture them at their desk in a stiff, anal retentive posture, punching out this dismissive missive.

This individual has obviously failed to catch the drift of David Cameron’s Big Society and its drive to give local people the backing to make a difference in their communities.

Not to be beaten on this (yet) I have now contacted a colleague at the county council, to get their view on these issues.  I will update this blog with any outcomes in due course.

Meanwhile, if anybody else wishes to annoy Network Rail and let them know of their dis-satisfaction with this bridge, please feel free.

Network Rail National Helpline 08457 114141. The reference number to use, if they ask, is: 2779146. Or you could start your own complaint and get a new number.

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