Tay Rail Bridge works

Network Rail’s Community Relations Manager, Scotland  has recently advised me :
“As part of the major refurbishment of the Tay (Rail) Bridge, our contractors are working over the estuary at present.  
They did not anticipate the noise being heard by residents at that side of the bridge (but) we arranged for letters to be dropped.   When we carry out work, notification letters are delivered to residents living within 100m of the worksite and a copy is sent to the relevant Environmental Health Officer in the council.”
The letter referred to, delivered in the Roseangle area, reads as follows :
We will shortly commence phase 4 of improvement works to the Tay Bridge. Although this work is essential, I would like to apologise in advance for any disturbance it may cause you.
This work will be ongoing until December 2016 on a 24 hour basis.
This work will involve essential structural repairs at the Tay Bridge. Unfortunately, the equipment we use – in this case heavy plant and machinery including jack hammers – means that some noise is unavoidable but we will do all we can to minimise it.  We have also briefed those working on site to work with consideration for the local community.
Works on the Dundee side of the bridge will start next to Riverside Drive and progressively move further in to the middle of the Estuary. You may notice some noise during the night in the early stage of the work this will gradually decrease with the completion of each span each taking approximately a month to complete
We understand that working by your property overnight is far from ideal, but we are legally obliged to work on the railway at times that cause least disruption to trains.  Unfortunately this means carrying out a lot of our work at weekends or overnight.
I do hope our work doesn’t disturb you too much but if you have any questions or concerns please call our 24-hr helpline on 03457 11 41 41.”
Thus far, I have not received any noise complaints, but do please contact me if you have any concerns – many thanks.

Update from Network Rail

I was in touch with Network Rail today following concerns about youths getting onto the rail track yesterday near the rail bridge, just before 6pm.   This resulted in trains being halted and I asked Network Rail to thoroughly investigate any possible insecurity in the boundary fencing at the rail track in the area.
My office was updated late this afternoon as follows :
“The British Transport Police and Network Rail’s Track Services have been aware of this incident since yesterday and have been patrolling the area and searching for a hole in the fence since then.     They eventually found a hole in the fence at the Scottish Water compound and the Network Rail maintenance team were due there at 4.30pm today to repair the fence.  Network Rail advised that it was two youths that had got in.”
I am grateful to both Network Rail and British Transport Police for their prompt and efficient attention to this.

Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorials unveiling

Earlier today, I was delighted to attend a reception at Discovery Point to commemorate today’s unveiling of the memorials to the victims of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster in 1879, 134 years to the day of the disaster in which 59 known victims lost their lives.
Thereafter I attended the Dundee memorial unveiling at Riverside at which a large crowd of people attended.     I was a trustee of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust in its early days and it was wonderful to see the Trust’s work towards memorials in both Fife and Dundee to the victims coming to fruition.
Here’s a short video of the ceremony at Riverside and some photographs from today’s event:
Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust Chair Professor David Swinfen addresses the reception at Discovery Point
Large attendance at the memorial unveiling at Riverside
Floral tributes at the memorials

An end in sight for lane restriction on Riverside Drive

Following concerns expressed by constituents that a coned-off lane restriction on the busy Riverside Drive at the site of the Tay Rail Bridge has been in place since late last year, I raised the matter with Dundee City Council to find out when the coned off area will be back to normal traffic.   The cones were put in place during November 2011 following a vehicle hitting the bridge.

The City Council’s Head of Transportation advised me :

“This is a deliberate section of temporary traffic management to ensure that no further vehicle strikes occur.  The City Engineer’s Structural engineers have undertaken a survey and we (City Engineer / Transportation and Planning) are considering a permanent layout that will prevent any further bridge strikes in the future.”

I have now been advised by the City Engineer :

“The works have now been designed which involves some kerb realignment in the central reserve to ensure that minimum headroom to the bridge is achieved above the carriageway.
Network Rail have just recently completed repairs to the damaged plate girder utilising the traffic management measures in place. 
The kerb realignment works have still to be fully programmed but will start sometime in April for a period of approximately 2 weeks.”

I am pleased that there is an end in sight to the coned-off traffic management at the rail bridge on Riverside Drive.   Its an extremely busy section of road with a large traffic volume so the removal of the coned area and safety works will be welcomed.

Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust newsletter

On this, the 132nd Anniversary of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster, its good to note that the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust has issued its first newsletter in time for this festive season.   

As one of the trustees of the Trust, its really pleasing to see the progress the Trust is making towards its aim of a proper and lasting memorial to the victims of the 1879 disaster.

You can read the newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/TRBMTnews.