Context: NVAG Posted an Article on Railways’s 3Rs, Roles, Regulations an Responsibilities an article that concluded with an open letter to Richard Price, CEO of the Office of Rail Regulation.
Richard Price, CEO of ORR, Responded as Follows (also available as a PDF file from ORR’s website):
Dear Mr McIver,
6 February 2015
SUSTAINABILITY, NOISE AND VIBRATION
Thank you for your open letter of 21 January regarding noise and vibration
from railway operations.
As well as having led work on the economics of sustainable development, I
live next to the railway myself, so I fully understand your concerns and the
importance of this issue. It really matters, and affects the quality of people’s
lives. I also recognise that the legal framework for the oversight and
enforcement of noise and vibration levels on the railways is not
straightforward – so let me try to set out the different responsibilities clearly.
Stirling Council have agreed to:
- undertake noise and vibration surveys
- if levels are above acceptable thresholds, to commission independent legal advice
- to decide on enforcement action based on the above
Councillor Danny Gibson, chairperson of Stirling Council’s rail noise and vibration working group, a group that has received cross-party support, issued a statement of the group’s decision. Continue reading
A legal advice and railway noise and vibration information session has been set up. Anyone suffering from the impact of the trains, concerned about their health or the devaluation of their property may find it useful to find out:
- what the new Noise Vibration Action Group are doing
- why the government and private companies have not yet acted
- the legal position from an award winning firm of lawyers.
This is open to the public, there’s no fee, no commitment, and you do not need to be a NVAG member. The meetings will include a question and answer session. To ensure you have a seat, it’s advisable to contact us using the contact details in our contact page. The venue is the Raploch Community Campus (new, large glass-fronted building). Meeting times: 7pm, Fri the 29th of June.
[The 7pm time was a near unanimous request, but anyone coming for proposed 8.15pm slot, come in, stay on and we will cover key issues] .
Parking is behind the Campus building and is accessed via the Stirling City or east side of the building. Come along. We are sure you’ll find it interesting. Location
NVAG launch, Stirling, May 18th 2012.
The Noise Vibration Action Group was founded in response to failed attempts by bodies such as Network Rail, Transport Scotland, AECOM, DB Shenker, Scottish Power, Scottish Coal, Clackmannanshire Council and the Scottish Parliament’s petitions committee to make any significant progress with the noise and vibration impact from coal freight trains.
After nearly four years of letters and meetings, during a day of torrential rain and flooding in late November 2011, petition PE1273 was closed down. The Scottish Parliament announced that neither itself nor Network Rail had the power to control freight trains on Scotland’s Railways. Apparently no one has.
Environmental problems such as noise and vibration, come under the jurisdiction of local council environmental health departments. Stirling Council sought legal advice from a professor of environmental law and was informed that it would be unlikely to win if it took the issue to court. The same professor advised that residents did have legal avenues, one of these being human rights legislation.
Since the Scottish Government and the regulatory bodies and a host of private companies had, over a period of four years, declared themselve either unable or unwilling to protect citizens from harmful levels of noise and vibration, it remained for the residents to protect themselves. NVAG was formed.