Railway vegetation clearance planned in Fife

Network Rail will shortly begin tree and vegetation management on the line between Aberdour and Kirkcaldy.

Work will be carried out along an 8.5 mile stretch of the line to clear trees and vegetation from land adjacent to the railway and within the railway boundary. The work is needed to keep passengers safe and trains punctual and to reduce the risk for lineside neighbours.

Dayshift work will begin on September 5 and run for approximately 19 weeks with the team working to create a clear 6-metre strip from the outside rail to the railway boundary. The project will also treat any noxious and invasive non-native weeds within the railway corridor.

Trees within falling distance of the railway will be selectively felled or cut-back to leave a well-balanced tree canopy. Any heritage, landscape specimen trees will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be retained where it is safe to do so.

The project will also need to work at night to clear trees and vegetation closest to the railway. This work can only be undertaken safely when trains are not running. Nightshift dates and times will be confirmed as soon as possible and lineside neighbours will be advised.

Ahead of the work starting, environmental surveys have been carried out and the area has been inspected for nesting birds and protected species. We have also worked with our ecologists to minimise the impact of the work on the environment.

Kirsty Armstrong, Scheme Project Manager for the vegetation clearance work said,

“Network Rail manages thousands of miles of trees and vegetation along the railway to maintain safety for passengers and lineside communities and to make sure the railway runs efficiently.

“Our work between Aberdour and Kirkcaldy will create a clear, tree-free corridor either side of the railway to reduce the risks that large trees and overgrown vegetation can pose to the railway.

“Elements of this work are unavoidably at night for safety reasons, however the teams are always mindful of the impact their work may have and do what they can to minimise this. We want to apologise in advance if anyone is disturbed by the work”.

If anyone has any questions or concerns about this work they can contact Network Rail’s 24hr National helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

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