True stories from the Great Railway Disaster

No 47: so you want a clean track?
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The Independent Online
TRAVELLERS to and from Brighton station have wondered why the track has been increasingly looking like a rubbish dump. The answer is that no one has been given the responsibility for cleaning up the track for the past nine months as the contract has not been awarded.

David Lepper, chairman of the local council's economic development committee, says there is a potential health hazard from rats and the litter could also cause braking problems for the trains. He told the Brighton and Hove Leader: "Before, if something needed to be done at Brighton, it would be handled by local staff. Now there is no overall control." Staff at the station report hundreds of complaints and Chris Randall, the public relations manager of Network SouthCentral, the main user of the station, said: "We have no power to intervene."

Railtrack claims it has had no complaints and a spokesman told the Leader that cleaning "used to be quite easy to organise, but since the break- up of the railway services it's not. Now every task has to have a job order number".

n A collection of articles from this series will be published in book form in the spring. Further details will be given in the New Year.