A long-running battle to get fly-tipped rubbish removed from Penarth’s Dingle Station is now entering its sixth month – with still no sign of the problem being resolved .
The local environmental group North Penarth Initiative and Friends of Dingle Park led by Robert Donaldson – who’ve been largely responsible for pressurising the Vale of Glamorgan Council to transform the little park into one of the most attractive in Penarth – have been battling with German train giant Arriva and Network Rail to get them to clean up Penarth’s Dingle Road station .
In April 2016 Mr Donaldson telephoned Mel McCusker of Arriva advising him of the problem.
In an email, Mr McCusker took it up with superiors saying “Mr Donaldson has called to fly-tipping at the old unused platform at Dingle Station – Penarth. Mr Donaldson has advised that their is trees [sic] that have been removed and dumped, old tracks, litter and also building waste. Mr Donaldson would like this clearing please as it looks very unsightly.”
Mr McCusker duly reported back to Mr Donaldson “I have advised this information will be passed to community relations and dealt with in due course”..
Then came another email “Dear Robert Donaldson, Your service request has been assigned to our Maintenance team to investigate further. They will report back shortly with their findings and your local contact and communities team will be in contact to confirm the next steps in due course. Kind Regards,Network Rail Team.
It all sounded promising …but nothing happened.
….Months went by…The Welsh Assembly elections were held… Labour failed to win a majority …emotional First Minister Carwyn Jones was faced with losing his job …a Labour/Plaid coalition was formed …. Britain voted to leave the European Union… emotional Prime Minister David Cameron resigned…Theresa May formed a new Government…Owen Smith (remember him?) challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership and lost….. Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected….and in all that time the rubbish dumped on Dingle Road’s platform stayed exactly where it was.
On October 9th 2014 Mr Donaldson received an email from an office called “Contacts and Communities” tucked away somewhere in the labyrinthine corridors of Network Rail
“Response By E-mail (Paige) (03/10/2016 01.37 PM) Dear Mr Donaldson . Thank you for contacting Network Rail. We’ve noticed that it has been a number of months since your enquiry has been updated. Unfortunately our maintenance teams have a higher than normal work load so occasionally requests can take longer than expected to be resolved.”
The email then goes on to – in effect – ask Mr Donaldson if he happens to know what’s going on : – “As it has been a while since we have heard from you, could you please confirm if this issue is still ongoing and requires our attention? Please respond as soon as possible so we can pass on the information to the appropriate team. In the meantime, should you need to contact Network Rail again, please do not hesitate to call our 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41 quoting the reference number provided.
Mr Donaldson confirms that he’s still waiting for some action
On October 10th a Network Rail “Response By Phone” officer Richard Scurr confirms in writing that he has been in touch with Mr Donaldson “I advised I would update his file to make the team aware he is still wanting this issue dealt with.”
On October 12th Mr Donaldson receives an from Bethan Rowe at Network Rail. She says:- Dear Mr Donaldson, Thank you for contacting Network Rail. I have been investigating outstanding issues and have spoken with our Maintenance Protection Coordinator today regarding the fly-tipping you kindly reported to us. I am pleased to inform you that he has scheduled an inspection for Monday 17th October between 12pm and 4pm. Once he has carried out his inspection, he will report back to me and I will report his feedback to you accordingly. hope this information is helpful.
Mr Donaldson is hoping someone actually will turn up today at Dingle Road Station …but he isn’t holding his breath.