|Previous site of the sign on the side of the station|
With regards to your request that the graffiti situated near to the location mentioned above is removed. I would advise that Graffiti is a major problem within the rail industry. Its removal is expensive and time consuming. We fully appreciate the concern and distress that the irresponsible and anti-social behaviour of graffiti artists can cause.
Given the demands on our time and resources in delivering a safe, efficient and reliable railway, Network Rail is compelled to prioritise all work it is required to carry out. With graffiti, we give priority to the removal of anything that is racist or obscene. We remove other graffiti within our ongoing maintenance and repair schedules.
We have passed details of this graffiti to the relevant manager who will take appropriate action. We can not give you a firm date when the graffiti will be removed – please bear with us.”
Dundee West Church
Thursday 4th March at 7pm
More details at http://transtowndundeewest.blogspot.com.
Later today, I was pleased to be advised by the City Council that, following my raising residents’ concerns about a gap in the fencing by the railway at Magdalen Green, the Council has been advised by Network Rail that repairs have now been undertaken.
During my period as TACTRAN Chair, I met with the Regional Director of Network Rail in Scotland and – in raising the need for Dundee station refurbishment – it struck me that intense negotiation was going to be required with Network Rail, and with other partner organisations such as First ScotRail, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government. What is clear, however, is that Dundee has not had a fair share of rail capital funding improvements. My entry on www.dundeewestend.com back in April of this year (see http://tinyurl.com/dundeerail) pointed out :
“Network Rail announced plans for a new roof for Waverley Station in Edinburgh as part of a £130 million overhaul of the station. It comes on top of some £190 million announced last May for Edinburgh Haymarket.”
Only yesterday, the Glasgow Evening Times reported in relation to Dalmarnock Station :
Last week, the media highlighted the City Council’s latest proposals to improve the station. Go to http://tinyurl.com/stvedundee to read a report and see the TV news item from STV – “£10 million Dundee rail station plan revealed.”
As a former member of the Dundee Waterfront Board, I was surprised to see the figure of £10 million being bandied about. I reproduce below an e-mail I have since sent to Mike Galloway, the City Council’s City Development Director. I think we need transarency and answers to the points I have made :
Subject : Rail Station Refurbishment
I refer to media reports regarding the “Plans for £10m railway station revamp” (The Courier; 24th September – the Press and Journal and STV reported the same cost figure).
Given that your presentation to the Waterfront Board in Q4 2008 on the station study referred to 2 comparative estimated costs of :
OPTION 1 : £33m
OPTION 2 : £34.5m
I am extremely surprised at the £10m figure now being quoted. Even if the cost of commercial office and hotel building was removed from the 2008 figures, the total cost is very substantially in excess of £10 million.
Can you please give me an indication as to what revised proposals consist of, reassurance that the revised much lower intended cost will actually deliver the sort of quality improvement to the station that everyone in the city wishes to see and that the revised proposals are financially robust?
Can you also indicate to me when a report will be given to all elected members through either the City Development or Policy & Resources Committee?
Cllr Fraser Macpherson
Councillor for the West End
Liberal Democrat Group Leader – Dundee City Council
Subjects covered include :
* Graffiti – Magdalen Green and surrounding area
* Speed Limit – western end of Perth Road
* Network Rail Mast
* West End Christmas Week De-Brief Meeting
* Ground at High Mill
* Paint on road and pavements in Thomson Street
* Former Homebase site
* Handrail Seafield Road
* Fencing at rail line
* Hawkhill by-pass at Hunter Street junction
* Tay Rope Works Planning Inquiry
The Community Council meeting takes place this Tuesday at 7pm at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.
You can download a copy of my update by going to http://www.dundee.prai.co.uk/resources/sites/22.214.171.124-4354cb46e84541.81564487/West%20End%20Ward%20-%20Various%20Resources%20Directory/West%20End%20Community%20Council%20Updates/West+End+Community+Council+Update+-+January+2009.pdf.
Back in June of last year, Network Rail’s Town Planning Department wrote to the City Council advising that the company was erecting a number of railway communications masts in the area. I have been advised that these have permitted development rights and do not require planning permission from the local planning authority, but the company must write to the local authority to see if has any views on the siting of a mast.
The Director of Planning & Transportation’s response to Network Rail had made clear that “the proposal should be sited in such a way as to minimise its visual potential impact when viewed from the road to the south which is a principal entry route to the city.”
In my letter to Network Rail I state :
“Whilst I appreciate you had permitted development rights to erect this structure, I would have hoped that some cognisance of the feedback from the City Council as the local planning authority would have been taken. … I would be grateful if you could explain why such an approach was not taken.”
Given the large areas of ground owned by Network Rail to either side of the rail line running through the City, it would have been easily possible to site the mast well away from the busy ambassador route as well as away from residential areas and it is disappointing that Network Rail has not done so.
I have received quite a number of complaints about state of fencing north side of rail line at Magdalen Green – between electricity sub station and allotments – but also further west along the rail line. In particular residents were concerned about dogs getting onto the rail line.
I am therefore pleased that Network Rail has responded positively to my request that the fencing by the rail line be fully inspected and necessary repairs be undertaken.
“Just to update you, tenders have now been accepted and works commence on 21st July. The lead time for the specialist equipment is 12 weeks so the contractor has managed to accelerate this substantially. The residents’ meeting was held this morning, attended by the contractor and our lift specialist and residents are very positive about the proposed works. This will be confirmed to all residents within the next couple of days.”
Secondly, at last month’s West End Community Council meeting, concern was expressed that residents’ dogs could get on to the rail line by Magdalen Green as Network Rail’s fence didn’t have a low enough horizontal wire. I have now had this response from Network Rail :
“The local P / Way staff have carried out repairs to the fencing on the Green.”
* Youth football
* Dundee airport – helicopter noise
* Homebase site – update
Click on the headline above to read the update.
The Community Council meets this Tuesday at 7pm – location : Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.
* Met with the new acting Managing Director of Travel Dundee, and raised the concerns of residents about the re-routing of the 9X bus service – this no longer serves the Ninewells Avenue area. She promised to review this.* Attended the Deaf Awareness Open Day at the Central Library, organised by the Sound Sense project. It was good to see a number of organisations promoting their services to deaf people locally and the event was extremely well-attended.* Attended the “Community Spirit” group evening meeting at Mitchell Street Centre. “Community Spirit” is the new residents’ group for the “north” of the West End Ward – including the Pentland, Cleghorn and Ancrum areas. Another good attendance and an interesting discussion on local issues.
* A site visit with Scotland Gas Networks, Turriff (their contractors) and City Council Planning & Transportation at Perth Road to review road management issues, signage and other issues arising out of the continuing gas main replacement works on Perth Road.* Along with my LibDem council colleague, Cllr Helen Dick, I attended the Best Bar None accreditation scheme 2008 awards launch at the City Chambers. This is an excellent scheme – recognising customer safety and good practice in Dundee’s licensed premises. Click on headline to view the full story in the “Evening Telegraph.”* After a busy three surgeries at Mitchell Street Centre, Harris Academy and Blackness Primary School, I attended the evening board meeting of Dundee Contemporary Arts. A very positive review of the past year at DCA was presented, showing excellent visitor figures.
* A helpful site visit with Network Rail to Riverside Approach to allow me to point out graffiti and fly-tipping problems. Pleased at Network Rail’s willingness to tackle these issues, raised with me by West End residents.* As one of the City Council representatives, I attended the opening of the Winston Churchill exhibition at the University of Dundee, making the 100th anniversary of Churchill’s election as Liberal MP for Dundee. An excellent and entertaining speech by Churchill’s daughter, Lady Mary Soames, who opened the exhibition and unveiled a plaque, commemorating Churchill’s connections to the City.The event was extremely well-attended and it was good to see my former City Council colleague Neil Powrie (pictured at the event – right) and also my LibDem colleague Willie Wilson (Depute Provost of Perth and Kinross).You can read the BBC news item on this at :and the Churchill Centre web pages are very interesting :http://www.winstonchurchill.org
And, lastly, here’s a photo from the event, during Lady Soames’ speech, showing that I have no photographic skills whatsoever.
A busy Friday evening trying to sort out electricity reconnection for an elderly couple in the West End (the main electricity cable outside their home had been inadvertedly cut) and I was very concerned for their situation – in the dark and cold. Thankfully, after various telephone discussions with Scottish & Southern Energy, their electricity supply was reconnected about 11pm.
I recently raised the damage to the “No Through Road” signs at the entrance to Bankmill Road, following residents’ concerns. I have now had the following response from the City Council:
“The ‘No Through Road’ signs at the entrance to Bankmill Road have been checked by the area inspector. An order will be raised for the straightening of these poles for completion in the new financial year.”
Following concerns raised by residents about a shopping trolley dumped by the railway line south of Magdalen Green, I contacted Network Rail. I have now had the following feedback:
“The shopping trolley has been removed and returned to the Tesco store. We have also cleared litter around the area and removed graffiti from the footbridge.”
“They are both being used to deliver/recover grit and air to/from the bridge.
“Palmers have also carried out fairly thorough sound level checks which are all very low.
“Perhaps the most important factors to be aware of however are the following :
“Palmers have commissioned a single super silenced machine to replace the “normal” machinery currently on site (this is a new venture for the equipment manufacturer in response to the perceived needs at the Tay Bridge location).
Palmers shall continue to monitor the noise levels and ensure that the machines are turned off whenever they are not in us.
“I hope this gives you enough re-assurance to revert to your constituents.”