The shocking state of trackside vegetation in public areas

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I AM constantly depressed by the lack of vegetation control on our national network, as highlighted in your Readers’ Platform this month (RM August).

On a recent visit to St Mary’s crossing near Stroud I was shocked by just how bad things have got. 

The situation at Manchester Piccadilly on July 23 was appalling, with weeds above platform height and right in the face of passengers. Dealing with vegetation such as this during quiet overnight periods shouldn’t be difficult and will produce quick wins. TONY MILES

Not only were there weeds growing between the track but small shrubs too. Clearly nothing has been done for several years, and the track resembled some long abandoned byway, apart from having shiny rails. 

While I was there a van driver using the crossing enquired if the line was still used!

Richard Chandler
By email


THE disgraceful state of the tracks at platforms 1 and 2 at London King’s Cross (RM August) are not alone in this respect. 

The track approaches to Glasgow Central station were in full bloom with yellow ragwort earlier in the year, and photographs in several magazines in recent months have shown excess vegetation across many lines.

You’d be mistaken for thinking this was a siding with the GWR Class 800 set stabled. However, this is the main line between Standish Jct and Swindon at St Mary’s Crossing, Stroud, on July 26. RICHARD CHANDLER

In guarded mitigation, with the forthcoming track alterations at King’s Cross and its immediate environs maybe it is regarded as unnecessary by Network Rail to do any ‘weeding’. Not that this absolves or excuses it appearing in the first place.


As for litter and debris-strewn linesides this is merely, sad to say, a reflection of our ‘throwaway’ society and general air of untidiness that prevails elsewhere.

John Macnab

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the September 2019 issue of The RM –on sale now!


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About the Author

Nigel Devereux

Let off some steam...