Sunday, 17 December 2017

Opponents meet rail chiefs over gantries

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the installation of gantries over the railway line in the Goring area met Network

CAMPAIGNERS fighting the installation of gantries over the railway line in the Goring area met Network Rail bosses for the first time.

The company started erecting steel lattice beams in March as part of the electification of the track between Reading and Oxford.

Opponents say the structures, which will support overhead cables, spoil views of the countryside between Goring and South Stoke.

They say a less obtrusive design using metal support wires should be used and have criticised Network Rail for not consulting villagers.

They formed an action group which met four senior managers at Goring Parish Council’s offices. Also present were deputy council chairman Kevin Bulmer and Henley MP John Howell, who share the group’s concerns.



The managers apologised for failing to consult but said the gantries were the safest and most reliable way of electrifying the line.

They suggested screening the line with trees but the group said this would look out of place as the surrounding area is open fields.

The managers promised to return later this month with diagrams explaining why the alternatives were not feasible.

Action group leader Ian Haslam said: “I think we achieved as much as we could at this stage. They took our comments on board and we await their response with bated breath.”

Mr Howell said: “We held Network Rail to account and look forward to the next stage of discussions.”

The Chilterns Conservation Board has also written to Network Rail outlining its concerns.



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