It seems that, to CDE CEO Varley it’s a case of “Don’t do as we do, do as we say”:
and the fact that they are happy to cut down vegetation wilky-nilly at Blackhill Quarry to expand the engineering company!
When it comes to Network Rail it seems things are totally different!
“Twigged: rail chiefs behind the misery of leaves on the line”
Leaves on the line have been causing misery for rail commuters for decades. Far from Network Rail solving it, however, the problem has become worse under the public company that runs the tracks.
A government review that is published today has revealed that delays caused by falling branches and leaves on the line have increased by two thirds since the start of the decade.
Network Rail’s failure to manage vegetation by the side of the 20,000-mile network had the “potential to impact as much on safety and performance as on biodiversity”, the review concluded.
There are about six million trees on Network Rail land, typically a boundary of 10 metres either side of the line, but the review, commissioned by the Department for Transport, said they were often viewed as an “afterthought”.
In 2009-10, there were 11,500 incidents of trees and branches falling on to lines, rising to almost 19,000 in 2017-18. Last year more than 1,750 trains were cancelled by falling trees. Separate figures showed that leaves on the line, which can cause train wheels to slip, caused 3,261 hours of delays last year, a 70 per cent rise in a decade.
John Varley, the chief executive of Clinton Devon Estates who led the review, said that management of vegetation had been “under-resourced for decades”. His team found that “overstretched resource and no dedicated budget results in the maintenance of line-side vegetation being squeezed by other priorities”. Network Rail has spent £40 million a year over the past four years on vegetation management, up from £15 million, but the company still has a huge backlog.
The company’s bosses also face losing their bonuses for over-running engineering work under new plans. The Office of Rail and Road said that senior staff could be required to surrender a proportion of performance-related pay, which totalled more than £52 million last year, to fund improvements.
Network Rail said that it welcomed the review’s findings and that it would provide a plan to implement its recommendations in the next six months.”
Source: The Times (pay wall)