Concerns over poor parking at crossing

A Network Raill van parked blocking PPS's driveway/
A Network Raill van parked blocking PPS's driveway/
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A FED-up March business is worried that thoughtless parking by Network Rail workers could lead to problems with the railway line.

John Whitehead, branch manager for Plastic Pipe Supplies in Norwood Road, is urging rail workers to think before they park blocking access the firm’s access.

He said the issue is causing real concern as the company has already faced legal action after a delivery lorry got stuck on the track several years ago before the driveway was blocked and the vehicle couldn’t turn in.

WMr Whitehead said PPS were issued with a legal complaint and faced shelling out £1,000s in fines as the incident closed the line until the lorry could be moved.

Fortunately the complaint was not followed up and the firm did not have to pay out.

But it means PPS staff are fully aware of the dangers of their driveway being blocked and signs stating ‘strictly no parking’ have been put up around the site warning drivers not park.

However, Mr Whitehead said: “Ironically the biggest culprit for ignoring this is Network Rail workers. We continually ask them to park further down the drive to avoid obstruction, we have several deliveries of guttering and fascias daily and having the driveway blocked could cause a real issue and as it did before even lead to the line being shut,” said Mr Whitehead.

He explained the problem came to a head on Wednesday when the driveway was obstructed by three Network Rail vehicles.

“They tend to turn up when no-one is around and go off working down the line, which means we can’t ask them to move their vans. To be fair when we do catch up with the drivers they are happy to move their vans, but why they are ignoring the signs in the first place I don’t know. It is not as if the signs are invisible - they are quite large and obvious,” said Mr Whitehead.

He contacted British Transport police about Wednesday’s problem after noting on the Network Rail website the advice to report potential dangers or hazards directly to the transport police.

However, their response was to advise PPS to contact Network Rail.

Mr Whitehead said: “The most frustrating thing is that it is only Network Rail vehicles that ignore our signs, and it is because of them that the signs were put up in the first place.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “This is clearly unacceptable and we will look into how this happened.”