Latest Rail News

11.07.12

Network Rail investigated for bird disruption claim

Network Rail is being investigated for cutting down trees by the trackside, potentially disturbing birds during their nesting season.

The British Transport Police are compiling a file to pass to the Crown Prosecution Service, meaning Network Rail could face criminal action, according to the Telegraph.

BTP officers found trees and shrubbery causing damage to the line were being removed inDraytonParkbut determined that “all correct procedures had been followed with no crimes of disturbing nesting birds taking place.”

Nesting birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and should not be disturbed between mid-March and August.

An RSPB spokesman said: “Network Rail is charged with ensuring public health and safety on the railways but the level at which this scrub clearance is happening doesn’t seem to fit with their remit. Doing it in the middle of June is bonkers because that’s right in the middle of the nesting season.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour MP for Islington North who raised the issue in Parliament last month after Islington residents complained, said: “Network Rail have wantonly destroyed trees and nesting sites in my constituency.”

Network Rail route managing director, Phil Verster, said: “Clearly there was no intent here to do anything other than manage our railway requirements. Given the concerns expressed, I have postponed all the current vegetation clearance in this area with immediate effect.”

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