Vegetation management between Leeds and Outwood, via Network Rail

Reliability boosting ecological maintenance project set to commence

A vital Network Rail vegetation management programme of works covering a five-mile stretch of line between Leeds and Outwood are set to begin next month, seeing the project last from May 2023 until March 2024.

This major project will see the clearance of trees and vegetation from railway land, with the ambition to reduce the overall risk of trees falling onto track and ‘leaves on the line’, thus improving safety standards whilst reducing delays for passengers.

Teams of workers have been collectively working with an independent ecologist to ensure that the works being conducted are having minimal impact on the local environments and ecosystems. The affected areas will also face thorough checks to ensure nesting birds and protected species are not present before the vegetation are cleared.

Richard Cunningham, Senior Asset Engineer for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said:

“With 20,000 miles of track and millions of trees growing on the lineside, managing vegetation on the railway is one of our most important safety issues.

“We realise that removing trees and vegetation can impact local communities, however this work is vital to reduce the risks that trees and overgrown vegetation can pose to the railway, including damaging overhead lines, passing trains and obscuring signals. Adverse weather conditions can cause trees to fall onto the tracks, causing thousands of hours of disruption for passengers every year, so this work is essential in order to maintain a safe and reliable railway.

“I would encourage anybody with questions to attend one of our information events, either in-person or online and we will be more than happy to explain our plans in detail.”

To ensure the local community is kept up to date with the ongoing project, A public information event is being held at Dewsbury Road Community Hub & Library, 190 Dewsbury Road, Leeds, LS11 6PF on Monday 15th May between 17:30 and 18:45. Accompanying this will be a virtual event held via Microsoft Teams Live on Wednesday 17 May 2023 between 17:30 and 18:15.

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