MP slams rail bosses for level crossing faults in Spalding

RAIL FAIL: South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes has told Network Rail to "sharpen up its act" after a spate of level crossing faults in Spalding this year.
RAIL FAIL: South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes has told Network Rail to "sharpen up its act" after a spate of level crossing faults in Spalding this year.
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Rail bosses have been told to “sharpen up” after three level crossing failures at the same set of barriers in Spalding within five months this year.

The telling off came from South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, also Minister of State for Transport, who criticised Network Rail for causing disruption to both commuters and residents in Spalding due to continuing problems with the barriers in Woolram Wygate.

Network Rail engineers took about three hours to repair a fault last Monday when warning lights stayed on red, preventing traffic on Woolram Wygate from moving.

Mr Hayes said: “I’ve had considerable dealings with Network Rail over a period of time and have found it to be a very difficult organisation which seems to put those customers affected by what they do at the bottom of their priorities.

“I am happy to contact Network Rail about the recent level crossing problems in Spalding and the inconvenience it has caused local people as a result of it.

“I am also happy to tell Network Rail that it has to sharpen up its act and start responding properly to the perfectly reasonable complaints being made by local commuters going about their daily lives.

I am happy to tell Network Rail that it has to sharpen up its act and start responding properly to the perfectly reasonable complaints being made by local commuters going about their daily lives

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes, also Minister of State for Transport

“It is not good enough for them to be messed about just because Network Rail can’t get to their signalling right.

“These are thing that are both important and, in some cases, absolutely essential to people and their lives.”

Network Rail has previously come in for criticism from Coun Jack McLean, South Holland District Council member for Spalding St John’s and chairman of the Spalding Town Forum, a group of district councillors whose wards are within the Spalding town boundary itself.

In a report for the Spalding Guardian last week, Coun McLean said: “I reserve an unparalleled disdain for Network Rail’s performance over the last year.

“Rightly, we feel mocked and it is as though we are to accept their grand incompetence as the norm.

“This latest lapse only further grinds us down but, for what it is worth to those impacted by their failings, we are doing all we can and we will continue to raise concerns.

A Network Rail spokesman said: ““We have offered senior members of South Holland District Council a meeting with senior managers at Network Rail to discuss the current frustration surrounding level crossings in Spalding.”

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