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Case 196 - Trees and shrubs cut back at train station due to health and safety

Issue

The enquirer had an issue with trees and shrubs that had been cut down at their local train station, destroying the habitat of nesting birds, flowers and shrubs for insects. When they had asked the rail company to explain the reasons for this, they said it was for health and safety reasons that the vegetation needed to be trimmed back.

Panel decision

There are possible risks to railway operations and people from poorly maintained tracksides and managing vegetation is part of addressing this. The increase in passenger use at this station due to the Open Golf competition may have been an important factor in deciding on both the action and the timing. The safety of the users and operators of the rail service has to be a priority. It would however be good practice to give the detailed reasons for the action instead of just saying it was 'for safety reasons'.

2013-07-10