Oct 13 2010 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Francis Henderson, Rockbank Farm
A HORSE breeder’s son was so fed up with the disruption to the lives of his family and neighbours caused by work on the new Airdrie to Bathgate rail line, that he blocked an access road and left rail workers fuming.
Eddie Henderson blocked the road on his father’s Rockbank Farm near Caldercruix last Thursday afternoon, leaving Network Rail employees and contractors working on the rail line unable to move eight vehicles until Friday morning.
He only agreed to remove the vehicles blocking the road after frantic negotiations between his father Francis and Network Rail bosses.
Mr Henderson claims his father’s health is suffering as a result of the constant disruption to their lives on a daily basis and broken promises by rail bosses.
He said: “They’re making a real mess of the place and my dad’s health is suffering as a result. They keep making promises they can’t keep.
“The rail workers were fuming and threatened to break the window of my van and let the handbrake off to move it.
“It isn’t just my dad who is being affected, the road is used for access by our neighbours and they’re fed up as well.”
The landowners will meet with the Director of Network Rail today (Wednesday). Eddie’s dad, landowner and horse breeder Francis Henderson said: “There’s a meeting been arranged with Ron MacCaulay of Network Rail at Buchanan House.
“They have assured us that no more work will be carried out until they meet with the landowners on Wednesday and hear what we’ve got to say.
“I’ve got a list of work that’s had to be carried out for nearly a year and it’s still outstanding. They keep saying that it will be carried out in a week or ten days.
“Last winter it was like walking through a ploughed field here, the amount of water and muck caused by the number of vehicles using it was ridiculous.
“The drainage needs to be repaired as it is blocked, then I can reinstate the road.
“We’re getting back into that situation again where we’re going to get a lot of rain and once more it will be like a ploughed field. I’m not prepared to let it run any longer – I want it sorted.”
Ross Purden from nearby Easterton Farm is another farmer affected, he said: “We were at them before to get the road sorted, they really need to sort out this mess.
“We also asked them to make the bridge higher, it’s the only one in the area that they haven’t made higher.
“This is the main access to our farm and they’ve left us with a bridge that I struggle to get my tractor under, it clears it by inches.
“They haven’t even started to compensate us yet for the land, they took the ground from us and we’re sitting waiting.”
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are aware of Mr Henderson’s concerns and we are confident they can be resolved. We will be meeting with Mr Henderson this week in an attempt to resolve them.”