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‘Electric railway line is a threat to safety’

Residents of Finchley Drive in St Helens who are affected by the electrification of the rail line near their homes

Residents of Finchley Drive in St Helens who are affected by the electrification of the rail line near their homes

Angry residents say safety fears about the erection of large steel stanchions alongside the rail line near their homes are being ignored.

Neighbours in Haresfinch and Laffak were shocked to see large steel stanchions erected within full view of their homes as part of the electrification of the St Helens to Wigan rail line.

They fear the erection of stanchions so close to gas pipes is potentially dangerous and say there was no proper consultation about their size or positioning.

Coun Paul Lynch, who represents Haresfinch, said: “I’m deeply disappointed with the actions of Network Rail in this instance. A particular concern of mine is the public safety impact, especially with regards to the gas main nearby.

“Residents have already informed Network Rail that they regularly smell gas coming from the main, and that the electrical field from the power lines may be dangerous.”

Local councillors had campaign to get the line electrified but now say they have request town hall officials inspect the safety of the disputed stanchions.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “This work is part of a £400m electrification programme across the north west of England which will provide a better railway for millions of passengers every year.

“As with any work we do, safety comes first. Because of utilities close to the railway we have had to use wider stanchions to support the overhead wires as we cannot build foundations in certain areas. We have engaged with local authorities to discuss the work and have been in contact with local residents.”

 

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