19 January 2021
Further to my letter on Wednesday 6 January, I would like to thank you for your continued cooperation while my teams have worked to repair the embankment near Westwood Lane bridge. I’m pleased to confirm the piling activity related to the emergency work was completed as planned on Saturday 16 January, as communicated at the virtual drop-in. Once again, I apologise for the disturbance this work has caused.
I valued the opportunity to meet with lineside neighbours at our virtual meeting held on Zoom earlier this month, and if you were able to attend, I hope you found it useful in answering your questions about our work. At the end of this letter, I’ve included a summary of some of the main themes that emerged during the session, and the answers provided on the call.
I’d like to take this opportunity to confirm the details for the remainder of our work in your area. The planned work on the other side of the railway (Beech Lane) to stabilise the embankment is due to commence from Wednesday 10 February. Work will be limited to daytime hours only, with a shorter shift on Saturdays and no working on Sundays.
As promised, ahead of work starting, I would like to invite you to a further Zoom meeting where I will present the details of our remaining work and you will have the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have. We would also like to confirm our working hours with you at the meeting which will help determine the end date for the project.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday 28 January at 18:00 and can be joined using the details below. I would prefer to hold this meeting face to face, but due to current COVID-19 restrictions, this is not possible.
You are welcome to access the meeting a few minutes in advance of 18:00 where you will be met by a holding screen. We will then admit you to the meeting at 18:00.
If you do not have access to the Internet, you can join the meeting by telephone – simply dial 0203 481 5240 (charged at a local rate) and key in the above codes when prompted by the automated message.
I look forward to speaking with you at the virtual meeting on 28 January, if you need to get in touch, please phone our national helpline on 0345 711 4141 and quote “Wanborough embankment stabilisation.”
Wessex Route Director
Key questions from the Zoom meeting
Q: How will the area be left once the team have left the site?
A: Our teams will restore the area by fully tidying the worksite and removing all waste and other materials.
Q: Why did your team work at night?
A: As we mobilised these emergency works, our project team spent time considering the impact they would have on the local community. Based on previous experience of delivering these activities at night in other locations, we did not expect the level of vibration and noise which has been experienced. We responded to concerns raised on Saturday and immediately ceased this activity being completed overnight.
Q: Will financial compensation be offered to residents?
A: As an arm’s length government body we’re unable to pay financial compensation. We are exploring options to engage with the community, such as Network Rail colleagues supporting a community endeavour through our volunteer leave programme.
Q: Will there be further work in our area in the months and years to come?
A: Other than the final phase of planned work mentioned above, we have no further embankment stabilisation activity in the area for the period to 2024. The exception to this would be any emergency or reactive work which may be required. Should this be required, we are committed to engaging in a two way dialogue with local residents from the start of the incident.
Q: How should we voice our concerns or get in touch with Network Rail?
A: We would continue to suggest contacting the 24/7 helpline on 03457 11 41 41. All calls to the helpdesk are logged on a system and assigned to a knowledgable, local member of the Southern region community relations team. This route of communciation will allow your query to be logged immediately.