‘Network Rail must come to Spalding to explain problems with GNGE line’

A Spalding district councillor is demanding that Network Rail managers come to town to explain persistent problems with the line through South Holland.

Coun George Aley says the public deserves to hear first-hand what the issues are and what the company responsible for the rail network is doing about it.

Instances of the barriers at Mill Green, Park Road and Winsover Road in Spalding and at Littleworth crossing in Deeping St Nicholas remaining down for up to four hours due to system faults have become commonplace since Network Rail’s £280million upgrade of the GNGE line eight months ago.
At the request of leader Gary Porter, South Holland District Council chief executive Anna Graves has written to Network Rail asking for assurances over action.

Speaking ahead of Spalding Town Forum’s meeting on Wednesday (June 17) when he was due to make his feelings known, Coun Aley said: “I don’t think a letter is good enough.
“We want to have Network Rail down come to council so they can explain to everyone what the problems are.
“The public deserve to know.”

Before the upgrade began, Network Rail made presentations to Spalding Town Forum which comprises all of the town’s district councillors plus other community representatives.
Coun Aley said: “They assured us quite dramatically that it’s a failsafe programme.
“Now they need to speak to full council because while Spalding Town Forum has a voice, it doesn’t have the same decision-making power.”

Last month The Voice reported on a frustrated cyclist climbing over Mill Green barriers and carrying his bike across the line during a four-hour closure.
Coun Aley said: “It’s lunacy but you can understand it.
“Next we’ll have a car driver trying to beat the barriers coming down because they know they could be sitting there a long time.
“My big worry is that someone is going to take a risk and be killed.”

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