August 2009 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about the increasing pigeon problem, mainly at Wembley Central station but also at South Kenton station.
Pigeons have been a problem for several years at these stations, but it seems to just get worse and worse according to the reporter. At Wembley Central there is a footbridge which is only open to the public on days with major events, but staff have to patrol this area on a daily basis as it is also an emergency exit. The reporter states that this bridge is covered in pigeon faeces, creating a slip hazard and, more seriously, a health risk. Breathing in dried pigeon faeces puts a person at risk of a multitude of illnesses, such as E coli. At South Kenton station, the island platform has similar problems.
The reporter would like to see drastic action taken to combat the pigeon problem and suggests that a specialist contractor needs to be brought in to get the situation under control. The main obstacle to action being taken seems to be uncertainty of who is responsible for it. Both buildings are owned by Network Rail, but LUL is the tenant.
Could LUL and Network Rail confirm who is responsible for dealing with the pigeon infestation at these stations?
Will the responsible party take decisive steps to eradicate this health risk?
Wembley Central station
The cleaning of Wembley Central events bridge was discussed by Network Rail and London Underground Limited (LUL) and it was agreed that a thorough deep clean of the bridge would be carried out on 22nd May 2009.
Furthermore, Network Rail and LUL are in ongoing discussions on the measures that are required in order to provide anti-roost protection on the Wembley Central station events bridge. This requires a separate contract as the work needs to be planned, assessed and delivered by Network Rail in line with the possession and isolation programme. The building engineer, in the week commencing 1st June 2009 obtained estimates of cost to progress anti-roost proposals. Network Rail fully understands that the pigeon droppings will continue to cause difficulties until the anti-roost protection work has been completed. However, the type of the permanent infrastructure work which is needed on the bridge must be properly managed.
South Kenton station
The responsibility of cleaning pigeon droppings from the platform falls within the terms and conditions of the station facility owner being London Underground Limited. The response that LUL gave on receiving this complaint is that anti-roost protection had to be removed to facilitate the refurbishment programme of works that is being undertaken to South Kenton station. In the week commencing the 4th May 2009 an attempt to manage the pigeon infestation was performed. On completion of the refurbishment programme the anti-roost protection will be reinstated.
Thank you for your report regarding pigeon infestation at Wembley Central and South Kenton stations.
In response to items raised within this report I would like to clarify these stations are now managed by London Underground as the station facilities operator while Network Rail remain the landlord. The footbridge at Wembley Central remains a Network Rail asset however and is therefore not within the London Underground lease at present.
South Kenton - From 04/05/09 - 10/05/09 the following action has been taken to address pigeon issues at this location. The scope of works involved the controlled shooting / cull of feral pigeon vermin roosting within the damaged anti-pigeon canopy netting system at South Kenton station by Rentokil pest control, the removal of approximately half of the damaged netting structure, and the subsequent clean and removal of bird fouling and nesting material. There are currently refurbishment works being conducted at this location and when completed towards the end of 2009 new netting will be put in place.
Wembley Central footbridge: A deep clean was conducted on Friday 22 May 2009. Regular meetings with Network Rail are in place to agree further works for implementation of pigeon proofing and ensure the bridge is regularly cleaned until this mitigation is in place.