Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Should Bill Bryson and CPRE* focus on the real problem

Yesterday a work mate mentioned to me Bill Bryson's (CPRE* Chairman) campaign to force Network Rail to clean up litter around their land. This is reported in detail in several papers as in the Mail here.

Basically he (Bryson) wants rubbish cleared up, it sounds not unreasonable and he says "This is not a complicated or controversial issue" .  Still assuming he gets his way and network rail clean up and every bit of track and stations are squeaky clean so as not to offend Mr Bryson the costs will be phenomenal  and what will it solve long term.

A particular point made here 'The first impression for a visitor arriving in a town is often formed by their view from a train carriage, and it is a disgrace that view is so often a degraded and dirty one that suggests a lack of care or pride in the area.' another member of CPRE added  "The track around Cambridge Station is littered with bottles and cans and plastic bags.

Simple, surely just tidy it up, and ignore the root cause, morons throwing their rubbish away with no idea of the consequences or cost of tidying up.

My thoughts are this, most days as part of my job, I walk through, work near or visit railway stations, they have tidy platforms and public areas more often are spotless rather than untidy.

Litter does accumulate on tracks in platforms and around stations but simple as it might seem, you cannot just walk out on to a rail track and start tidying up, trains don't just stop in the way road vehicles do, the conductor rail is Live and Dangerous at all times, so work in a platform area is prohibited most of the time.

I wont go all train spotter but before anyone can work anywhere on track, a safe system of work has to be set up and pre-planned due to the inherent dangers.

Obviously I'm at the lower end of the railway food chain, and don't get too specific, however as far as I'm aware on every job, I've ever been on, at the end, all the rubbish and scrap gets cleared, at the not unreasonable insistence of Network Rail.

As happy as I am to see jobs created on the railway, at the end of the day, its society that pays the bill so why doesn't Mr Bryson focus his campaign at those responsible the Big Society or even better write some more.

As my mate pointed out, much of the rubbish we see, comes over the fences of property backing onto the railway or fly tippers, as illustrated by the above photo of rubbish overflowing. Still presumably if Bill's campaign is successful, I wont complain KERCHING!.

* Campaign to Protect Rural England

1 comment:

  1. its not just railways farms suffer much the same I saw a nice new shed in a garden backing onto farmland and guess where the oold shed was, yep bunged over the fence out of site out of mind.