February start to station work?

Councillor David May
Councillor David May

network Rail officials will attend a site meeting later this month to see for themselves access problems at Montrose Station.

Local councillor David May this week said he had arranged the meeting as part of efforts to pin down the rail operators on when the station’s old passenger footbridge will be replaced with a more disabled-friendly design.

Following pressure from Montrose councillors, local politicians and Angus Council, who pursued the matter with Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown, Network Rail has confirmed to national transport agency Transport Scotland that it intends to begin work at the station this month - if a long-running issue over drivers’ sightlines can be resolved.

There are concerns that the new structure - which would feature lifts at both ends rather than stairs - could interfere with drivers’ sighting of a signal. The issue was first raised almost exactly two years ago and has been a stumbling block to the replacement plans ever since.

Councillor May said this week he hoped the proposal is not another “false start” to the project.

He said: “Network Rail made contact with me and I’ve fixed a date for the middle of February. Myself and Mark Salmond have been pursuing this for a while and we want actual details of when work is starting and what’s planned because there have been so many false starts in the past.

“It has taken a tremendously long time to get an answer from Network Rail and no doubt pressure from myself, Mark Salmond and MSP Alison McInnes has helped. Hopefully they will have further information about what’s going to happen because the Montrose public needs to be reassured that progress has been made.”

In a letter to Mr Salmond, Mr Brown confirmed Network Rail’s intention to being construction “in February and complete the work by August 2012.”

He added: “These timescales are subject to an early resolution of an ongoing issue regarding signal sighting at the station.”