Rail bridge lights out for five years and counting
A pedestrians’ foot bridge has been left without lights for five years because repairs have been delayed for safety reasons. Hampshire County Council said it was waiting for permission from Network Rail to carry out the repairs.
it looks like the saga of the lighting, or rather the lack of it, on Steppingstone Bridge in Spalding might be coming to an end in the new year. However, whilst Network Rail appear to have agreed to fund the work required, following discussions with the county council, they deserve little real credit.
Having communicated with a number of national organisations I can safely say, without reservation, that Network Rail is by far the most arrogant and un-cooperative I have ever dealt with. Almost since the first day the new (secondhand) bridge was opened, people have been complaining about the lack of lighting and the standing water on the top deck.
I alone must have registered at least four complaints, with the inappropriately named, customer service dept in York, about these problems. Each and every time I was promised a call from their local representative and each and every time it never happened.
Of course Network Rail makes a point of not ignoring everybody, especially when it’s the local MP. Only a week or so ago, I was told that the county council was still awaiting written confirmation, from Network Rail, that they are willing to finance the work to move the currently non-working light. Then, by pure chance, I was emailed a copy of a letter sent to John Hayes by Network Rail, stating that they are just waiting for the completion of legal agreements before carrying out the work! It would seem that Network Rail doesn’t even have the good manners to communicate with the other party to this work, the county council, so what chance does a minor politican like myself have?
I would like to think the passing in to law of the Localism Bill would eventually lead to the building of bridges (pardon the pun) between faceless organisations such as Network Rail and the public. Unfortunately, based on my personal experience to date, there’s more chance of HS2 being built this century!