Rail commuters kept in the dark
Car park lights out and no one will act
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