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Railtrack to tackle vandalism  

The area manager for Railtrack with responsibility for the south end of the east coast mainline has offered to intervene personally in an effort to tackle vandalism at Brookmans Park Station. 

Philip Heath has e-mailed   offering to attend any meetings in the area or reply directly to anyone who has raised concerns about the state of the local station and the railway line in general. 

He has also pledged to step up patrols in the area to try to tackle any problems. 

His involvement comes after he was sent details of recent incidents on the line, a number of which were first raised and highlighted on this site.  Mr Heath, who took responsibility for the area 14 months ago, says he wants to investigate all reports of vandalism or trespass.   

“I would be very interested to hear of any incidents at either location (Brookmans Park and Hatfield). I would also be happy to attend any meetings that you may have or reply directly to anyone who has concerns about the railway in this area.  I employ a very large number of staff in the area and would also be prepared to patrol as required. I would of course need information regarding time and days that the problems are likely to occur,” he says. 

Trespass and Vandalism Campaign

Mr Heath says that in recent months he has run a trespass and vandalism campaign in the area.   “I hired a helicopter and had over 60 people patrolling and inspecting. We then spent 100k on fencing and anti trespass and vandalism measures although we find patrols far more effective than fencing as the vandals will always get in if they are determined enough.”  

He says Brookmans Park does not appear in the top 20 trespass and vandalism hot spot list and he has only one record of trespass and one act of vandalism at the location in the last two years.  He has urged local commuters to let him know if there are more.

Improved Services

Mr Heath says he can only act as an agent for WAGN who are responsible for keeping services up to the standards outlined in the passenger charter.   They are in charge of the conditions of the trains and services such as announcements at stations.

Regarding concern over the performance of West Anglia Great Northern Railways (WAGN), raised on this site over the past 18 months, Mr Heath says the government rates the company as category B (good). In comparison GNER is rated C (average) or Virgin at E. 

“Over the last 18 months there has been an increase of 300 trains per week not a reduction as mentioned and the level of delay minutes submitted to the Rail Regulator shows a reduction of over 40% in delay minutes on the Railtrack area covering Brookmans Park and Potters Bar (Railtrack Kings Cross),” he writes. 

According to Mr Heath, the passenger charter figure for punctuality has risen to well over 90% and the annual average figure continues to improve with 100% daily service punctuality being recorded on a regular basis.  

“This doesn't appear to match what is being said in the postings although much of the above related to the last 18 months.  I would be interested to hear other views. I use the service daily with very few problems,” he says. 

Mr Heath’s attention has also been drawn to an area of track in Hatfield where youths have been using a short cut across the line. In order to stop this, he says, he authorised the entire area to be security
fenced and the ends of the platforms to have cattle guards and fences.  

“This was done in conjunction with the British Transport Police and WAGN who supply a security guard. The area is also covered by CCTV cameras,” he said.

Relevant news items

New plans to beat vandals -  July 13, 1999
Crackdown on station vandalism -  July 9, 1999
Station face-lift hits buffers -  March 19, 1999
WAGN failures -  August 20, 1998
WAGN anger -  July 12, 1998

Have Your Say

Are you happy with the state of the station, do you feel WAGN and Railtrack provide a good service?  Have your say and contribute directly to this site.

August 21, 1999 

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