Tagged: Transport Minister

Stirling Council Make Positive Move on Train Noise and Vibration

Stirling Council’s new Petition Panel, chaired by Councilor Steven Paterson  were presented with a petition asking the council to take action on the noise and vibration from trains that is afflicting residents in the Council’s area. Archie McIver and Zara Kitson, who presented the petition, outlined the many promises and assurances that had been made then ignored by the promoters of the Stirling Alloa Kincardine rail line, SAK. It was described how Transport Scotland’s approach to the public had been not only duplicitous, but highly inconsistent and that they displayed complete disregard for health-based standards and the well-being of residents. The case was put that right across Stirling, not just on SAK, many residents were being exposed to noise levels that far exceed any modern standards and that vibration levels that were causing serious distress had not been adequately measured or addressed.

There was a good deal of pertinent questioning and support from the councilors present. Jim Thompson spoke about his involvement in Causewayhead Community Council at the time, their objections to Parliament and the manner in which they had been deceived. Mark  Russel expressed disappointment at the situation; he had been involved in the process of approval of the SAK line whilst an MSP in Scottish Parliament.

Valid points were made by other Councilors. Corrie McChord asked as to whether advice on the Council taking legal action had been provided by a QC. Apparently it had not.

The Councilors agreed to a proposal that a working group be set up to address this issue. This will be put to to the Council’s Planning and Regulation Panel for consideration on 29th Feb 2013.

Link to Stirling Council website:

http://my.stirling.gov.uk/news/view/21518/date:01-2013/type:all

PRESS RELEASE: Families hopes of peace and quiet dashed by Transport Minister

PRESS RELEASE by Thompson’s Solicitors

For immediate release: 10:00hrs, 23rd November 2012

Families hopes of peace and quiet dashed by Transport Minister

No further testing for night noise and vibration to be carried out on Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line

 

Families who live close to the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway line whose lives are being blighted by noise and vibration caused by overnight freight have had hopes for a solution dashed.

A series of Parliamentary questions tabled by Dr Richard Simpson, the MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, probed the Scottish Government on the situation following the introduction of night freight on the line which residents had been led to believe wouldn’t happen. The questions asked for details of testing for noise and vibration at residential properties along the line and about standards used to decide on mitigation measures.

Among the answers the Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP stated that vibration measurements had been concluded and that following repeated noise testing no additional properties would be tested for the first time. He also admitted that in reaching it’s conclusion regarding mitigation for properties along the line only four properties had actually been tested for vibration and just 11 for noise levels.

 

Campaigners claim the Scottish Government is refusing to protect them from the health risks associated with noise and that the Government has based this refusal on a 20 year old report which was commissioned to look at noise as a nuisance. They also claim that two decades of medical research that warn of chronic ill-health, sleep deprivation and stress are being ignored.

 

Chairman of the Noise Vibration Action Group Archie McIver has accused the Scottish Government of digging its heels in on the issue and said: “By using a defunct, 20 year-old standard called the Mitchell Report, the Scottish Government is refusing to protect line-side families from the harmful impact of night-time train noise.

 

There has been a total disregard for the health of people like myself and others who have to deal with interrupted sleep night after night, and the constant daily stress of being bombarded by noise. The financial loss of value to our property is tens of thousands of pounds but this is nothing compared to the struggle to work and to function in a sleep-deprived state. Driving is something we increasingly avoid because of the high risk.”

Thompsons Partner Patrick McGuire said: “The Scottish Government’s latest position on addressing the issue of overnight noise and vibration on the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine line is frankly not good enough. These families were told that the line would not be used for night freight and not only was this complete nonsense but there seems to be no appetite whatsoever to resolve the problem which is causing sleep deprivation and knock on health issues as a result for a large number of people”.

Commenting on the Ministers responses Dr Simpson MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, a former GP and Psychiatrist said: “The fact that this SNP Government and the Minister who is also a local MSP choose to ignore the suffering of many of my constituents shows a complacency which is uncaring in the extreme.

The designation threshold  for night time noise nuisance of 82db noise level and occurring more than once per hour means that these night coal trains can never be deemed a disturbance as they are always less frequent than hourly. The Minister and Transport Scotland officials should try sleeping at night in the affected households. It is a shameful disregard for the health and well being of those affected.”



ENDS

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact our 24 hour press office on:

Tel: 07887 687318

Email: louise.robertson@thompsons-scotland.co.uk

Public Welcome. Train Legal Advice Meeting

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