Network Rail has rebuffed a suggestion from the Chief Inspector of Railways to cut down more lineside trees, after he was held up during a recent storm.
Last week, after his train to Scotland was delayed by a tree on the line, Ian Prosser, Chief Inspector of Railways wrote on Twitter: ‘As I have said before much has been done by NR but very much more to get back to were we need to be’.
A video posted online shows a train, apparently on the East Coast main line, hitting a tree on the line at high speed.
Earlier this year Network Rail was criticised for cutting down too many lineside trees, leading to the announcement of a Government review.
It said there is no new programme or new plans to fell more trees as a result of storms and that its lineside policy and standards have not changed since 2004.
A spokesperson said: ‘We continue to engage fully with the Government’s review. We see this review as an opportunity to explore how we can better apply our own examples of good practice across the country and find new and improved ways of managing our lineside environment while ensuring the continued safe and reliable operation of the railway.’
Network Rail said that last year it recorded over 400 incidents of trains colliding with fallen trees and another 1,000 where they caused delays to services, costing the industry over £100m.