Rail com­muters kept in the dark

Car park lights out and no one will act

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ju­dith Ton­ner

Pas­sen­gers at Drumgel­loch sta­tion are be­ing left in the dark due to a wran­gle over who is in charge of light­ing its car park.

The lamp­posts in the Air­drie park-and-ride site have been out since Jan­uary, with Net­work Rail and North La­nark­shire Coun­cil locked in dis­cus­sions over where the re­spon­si­bil­ity lies.

Coun­cil of­fi­cials be­lieve that main­te­nance of the light­ing rests with Net­work Rail as the light­ing col­umns are con­trolled from elec­tri­cal equip­ment on the sta­tion plat­form.

But the sta­tion op­er­a­tor dis­agrees, say­ing the coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for the car park.

Fed-up pas­sen­gers at the busy sta­tion, which recorded more than 400,000 en­tries and ex­its last year, have com­plained to both or­gan­i­sa­tions and also to Neil Gray MP in an at­tempt to re­solve the is­sue and once again shed some light on their trav­els.

Dis­grun­tled Peters­burn com­muter Les­ley Bowen told the Ad­ver­tiser:“The lights had been go­ing out reg­u­larly since the start of De­cem­ber and for the past month it’s been pitch black.

“I’ve fallen twice and hurt my­self, young girls have their phones out try­ing to see kerbs, it’s not safe for el­derly peo­ple or fam­i­lies and there’s also the se­cu­rity con­cern for cars.

“The lights are on at the sta­tion plat­form but then the car park is in to­tal dark­ness. You can’t see in front of your face after dark but there doesn’t re­ally seem to be any great urge to get them fixed.”

She added:“Be­tween dif­fer­ent peo­ple we’ve con­tacted the coun­cil, Net­work Rail, ScotRail and Trans­port Scot­land but it seems no­body is re­ally re­spon­si­ble for the car park.

“I find that quite strange as it’s been open since 2011. It’s a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion and it’s in­con­ceiv­able that no­body is re­spon­si­ble but it feels like it’s all be­ing dragged out.

“Every­body is try­ing to pass it to some­body else, but the peo­ple who use the sta­tion and car park are just fed up and don’t care how it gets sorted. We just want some an­swers and to get it fixed.”

Air­drie and Shotts MP Mr Gray said he has been con­tacted by three con­stituents in the past month and has also been in con­tact with Net­work Rail, ScotRail and North La­nark­shire Coun­cil over the is­sue.

He told the Ad­ver­tiser:“It ap­pears that there’s some con­fu­sion over who runs the light sys­tem as, al­though the car park is owned by the coun­cil, the con­trol box is on the sta­tion plat­form and coun­cil staff have no autho­ri­sa­tion to carry out any work on it.

“I’m hop­ing a site visit will be car­ried out and an ar­range­ment to have this is­sue re­solved will be in place fairly soon and I can as­sure those con­stituents who con­tacted me that I’ll con­tinue to work to­wards reach­ing a res­o­lu­tion that they’re happy with.”

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “The coun­cil pro­vided fund­ing for the con­struc­tion of the park and ride at Drumgel­loch.

“How­ever, we are not aware of any le­gal agree­ment for its main­te­nance.

“The light­ing sys­tem is la­belled as be­ing part of Net­work Rail’s in­fra­struc­ture and is con­trolled from the sta­tion plat­form. As a re­sult, the coun­cil be­lieves that re­spon­si­bil­ity for main­te­nance of the light­ing rests with Net­work Rail.

“Of­fi­cers met with Net­work Rail to dis­cuss a num­ber of is­sues re­lat­ing to the light­ing and main­te­nance at Drumgel­loch sta­tion park-and-ride and how best to re­solve these. The com­pany will con­sider the pos­si­ble op­tions and costs with a view to agree­ing a way for­ward with the coun­cil.”

A Net­work Rail spokesper­son said:“The car park was con­structed dur­ing the Air­drieBath­gate rail­way project but the land has re­mained in the coun­cil’s own­er­ship at the coun­cil’s own re­quest.

“We have met with the coun­cil and of­fered to re­solve the cur­rent is­sues with the car park light­ing. How­ever, fu­ture main­te­nance would rest with the lo­cal au­thor­ity.”

It’s a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion and it’s in­con­ceiv­able that no­body is re­spon­si­ble

Dan­ger­ous The car park is “pitch black” at night

Busy Scores of com­muters use the car park ev­ery day

In­juries Les­ley Bowen has fallen twice

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