Published: 25 May, 2012
• FOR more than 15 years we have thoroughly enjoyed the benign neglect of the railway companies responsible for the stretch of track between Highbury and Canonbury stations. This meant, for us, trees and thick foliage which mute the noise of trains, clean the air and attract the best and most intriguing urban wildlife, foxes, squirrels and a wide array of birds. We even get to pick wild blackberries poking through the fence in the autumn.
At this week’s consultation, we were hoping to hear a rounded appreciation by Network Rail of the task to “clean up” the zone in the run-up to the Olympics. We were not optimistic. Network Rail is not renowned for its holistic approach, as most rail journeys show.
We cannot help feeling that concrete and cut-down trees will await the soon-to-arrive travellers. And our quality of life here will change and be felt long after they have come and gone.
Harecourt Road, N1
• RAILTRACK has only today (Tuesday) put leaflets through letter-boxes about a meeting yesterday (Thursday). The leaflet is dated May 11.
It goes on about “fly-tipping” and land slippage caused by this, but the main thing seems to be the “unsightliness visually impacting our railway landscape” and this has to be rectified in time for the Olympics.
If any of the Railtrack team have ever travelled on the North London line they will find you can’t see much through the tinted windows, particularly when the sun shines, which, strangely enough, it sometimes does this time of year.
Is it planning massive pile-ups of static trains between Highbury and Islington and Stratford stations? What will happen if there is a hot summer coupled with a drought. Will it have teams out painting the vegetation green?
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