Minister hears of rail line noise

The MP for Sleaford has challenged the rail minister to compensate residents whose lives have been affected by increased rail freight traffic.

Rail minister Claire Perry officially opening the upgraded GNGE line at Ruskington back in March last year. EMN-160802-131954001
Rail minister Claire Perry officially opening the upgraded GNGE line at Ruskington back in March last year. EMN-160802-131954001

Stephen Phillips last week called for compensation for residents affected by the upgrade of the Great Northern Great Eastern line, from Peterborough to Doncaster via Sleaford, by raising the matter in the House of Commons.

The line was upgraded by Network Rail in a £280million programme of track improvement and bridge heightening to divert freight off the East Coast Main Line and free up capacity for passengers. Mr Phillips has pushed Network Rail to compensate residents for increased disturbance, or at least mitigate effects, but Network Rail has refused.

Asked about progress on the matter, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Claire Perry, who officially opened the upgraded line, claimed to be unaware of the issue. She said: “As part of the scope, Network Rail reduced track noise and vibration through the use of continuously welded rail.”

Mr Phillips was astonished she was unaware of this problem, saying: “I have been contacted by very large numbers of constituents who are suffering greatly increased noise and vibration following the upgrade of the line.”

Mr Phillips has asked for a meeting to bring her up to speed and apply pressure on Network Rail.

Richard Surfleet and Tony Joiner, from Helpringham, had raised the matter with Mr Phillips, as has Metheringham Parish Council.