Little sympathy from union as train horns ‘disturb the countryside’

31 January 2006

The union’s general secretary Keith Norman has very little sympathy with a countryside lobby complaining about train horns.

 

The rural lobby, lacking planes or hooligans to complain about, has turned its attention to the ‘torture’ of the horn.

 

MPs were lobbied last month by the group. One Surrey lady, Sheila Kolstoe, says every time she goes to sleep she is woken every 20 minutes by a noise ‘louder than a pneumatic drill’.

 

Janet Barkby, who lives a quarter of a mile from a foot crossing in Leicestershire, said, ‘Safety is paramount but when you consider it"s only a foot level crossing and it"s not very busy, it seems a little over-the-top.’

 

‘This really is a no-win for rail,’ says Keith Norman. ‘If there was a single accident on that ‘not busy’ crossing these same people would be outraged by the lack of a warning system.’

 

Peter Ainsworth, Tory MP for East Surrey, has proposed a motion in Parliament, backed by 70 MPs, which calls for train companies to install broadband horns which cost £700 each, or revert to old-style horns.

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