New measures to tackle train pollution

VILLAGERS are today continuing to monitor freight train problems plaguing their community to see if new measures to stop the troubles succeed.Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer led a delegation of parish councillors in a meeting with rail chiefs to try to end the noise and fumes which people living near the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line have had to put up with for years.

VILLAGERS are today continuing to monitor freight train problems plaguing their community to see if new measures to stop the troubles succeed.

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer led a delegation of parish councillors in a meeting with rail chiefs to try to end the noise and fumes which people living near the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line have had to put up with for years.

Freight trains from Felixstowe port's northern terminal can stand for up to 20 minutes at signals at Trimley Station as they wait for passenger trains to clear the line, and while they wait they leave their engines running.

Residents of Chatsworth Crescent and Eaton Close have trains standing just yards from their rear gardens pumping out diesel fumes and chugging away.

Some say the noise is intolerable and worse at night when they can hear the trains idling, while they cannot use their gardens in summer or leave back windows open because of the fumes.

Mr Gummer said the meeting had been very positive and he hoped some agreement had been reached which would cure the nuisance.

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"It was the first time we had managed to get everyone together to really see the problems first-hand," he said.

"Lots of letters had been written and residents had kept records of the problems, but we needed to get the rail people on site so that they could appreciate how these trains affect the people in the houses nearby.

"A series of measures to solve the problems have now been agreed and we hope that these will work and end this very real misery for the residents."

Mr Gummer met two representatives from Network Rail with parish councillors Bryan Frost and Mary Dixon.

Mrs Dixon said; "The noise and fumes are an intolerable nuisance and we gave them the message about these issues very strongly and we hope there will now be some relief."

The Network Rail managers agreed that the signals on the spur line from the port should be altered to work more efficiently so that they call the trains to join the main line much nearer to the time they are needed and cut waiting.

Trains would also in future be asked to wait further down the line so that if they are forced to wait for a short period diesel fumes do not waft into gardens.

There was also discussion over the problem of idling trains blocking footpaths and bridleways, causing annoyance to walkers, and this would be investigated.

n Are you one of the residents affected – do you think the measures are enough? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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