August 2011 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about risks posed to the travelling public when using Kidwelly station in south Wales.
This was first brought to the attention of CIRAS 18 months ago. Despite some modifications made to the access path and fencing, the issues are still relevant now. The reporter suggests that Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales work together to resolve these longstanding issues.
Fencing:To eliminate the risk of a child getting through to the tracks, a cattle grid was placed at the end of one of the platforms. However, this has only eliminated the risk at one of the four platform ends.
Access paths:Ballast from the track falls onto the access paths when trains pass through the station. As most of the path is made of mud and stones this becomes hazardous during wet weather and poses Slip, Trip, and Fall (STF) risks when ballast lodge in it. The Down road in particular is felt to be dangerous to elderly and disabled people.
Platform and signage:The reporter notes that only some of the platforms are paved, and that the paving slabs laid on the platforms have now come up, baring large gaps. Also, the platforms lack effective signage that clearly show the platform limits. For example, there are no signs that state passengers need to stay away from the platform edge. These are thought to present STF risks to passengers.
Lighting:The lighting across the station is felt to be inadequate. In some areas the lights are now redundant because the bulbs kept blowing. The reporter thinks this could be a problem caused by overhanging trees, particularly on the access paths.
Response from Network Rail
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention.
Could the fencing arrangements be modified and structures put in place to prevent the possibility of children accessing the tracks?
A scheme is currently under review to replace the existing fencing. These works are scheduled to commence in November 2011.
Could the access paths be completely resurfaced to provide full tarmac coverage or paving?
Resurfacing works are planned for tarmac coverage on the footpath. These works are planned for November 2011.
Could a board or fence be erected to prevent ballast from falling onto the access paths?
The fitting of ballast boards are planned to be erected and form part of the works to prevent ballast falling onto the footpath.
Could the platforms be fully paved?
There are no plans for platforms to be fully paved but platform repairs are planned to address uneven surfaces on the platform and to relay any paving slabs that poses a risk.
Could appropriate platform signage be provided?
The issue of platform signage falls under the responsibility of the Train Operating Company (TOC). However, Network Rail will raise the issue with Arriva Trains Wales (ATW).
Could any vegetation issues be dealt with and lighting improved?
The control of vegetation on station access paths comes under the responsibility of the TOC. The issue was raised at previous meetings and ATW addressed the issue by cutting back the vegetation around the lighting columns in August 2011.
Response from Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention.
We have agreed to review the placing of 'cattle' grids on the three areas of the platform that do not currently have these grids in situ. Arriva Trains Wales will base the need for these grids, or other possible controls, on reports of trespass and current footfall through this station. The use of cattle grids is not currently mandated as a control measure inRailway Group Standards.
Access paths:Network Rail are to replace the current path with a tarmacadam path and this is due for completion in November 2011.
Platform paving:this has now been repaired under Network Rail's frost heave programme.
Signage:Arriva Trains Wales has reviewed the signage and additional 'Keep back from the platform edge' signs will be installed shortly.
Lighting:This meets all current required standards and is maintained under contract with a specialist facilities company. Following the reporter's comments, a cut back programme of the vegetation/foliage has been completed and we thank the reporter for bringing this to our attention.
Kidwelly will continue to be monitored by our station management team as part of their planned general inspection regime. We would welcome any further feedback on the improvements made so far as well as those planned for the near future.
If any member of staff does have feedback please let us know.