Network Rail have halted plans to cut down an 11-mile stretch of forestation along the East Kilbride to Glasgow Central route after consultation with concerned community groups and politicians.  

The Evening Times previously reported that The Strathbungo Society had raised concerns with Network Rail over the method in which they plan to use and the lack of communication with residents in the community over the plans. 

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The Strathbungo Society spearheaded a campaign to hold Network rail to account, explaining that residents have had issues with how the rail company previous carried out similar works. 

Fiona MacKinnon, Secretary of The Strathbungo Society, said: “We immediately contacted all our political representatives to protest that Network Rail had failed to give proper warning, were not going to consult any of the people living along the line and were offering only “information” events. 

“Nobody had any clear idea about what they might actually do to the thousands of trees along the line.” 

In a meeting chaired by Glasgow Southside MSP Nicola Sturgeon, Network Rail met with the community group to discuss issues raised, with Network Rail agreeing to halt the process until community concerns had been address and necessary assessments of the work have been completed. 

Fiona said: “We also know that many residents have got in touch with our politicians and contacted Network Rail to express dismay that this important wildlife corridor and barrier to noise and diesel pollution could be lost.” 

The group also gained the backing of Westminster MP Alison Thewliss and Greens MSP Patrick Harvie. 

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Network Rail said that the plans to undertake “vegetation management” was a step toward possibly electrifying the line, as part of a wider rolling programme across Central Scotland.  

A representative for network Rail said: “We are planning to remove vegetation so we can carry-out detailed ground assessments ahead of future investment, including potential electrification of the line.  

While we wish to progress this project as quickly as possible, we are committed to working closely with communities and, following a meeting with the local MSP and members of the Strathbungo Society, we have paused work while we address some concerns raised.”