Railway mast on track

By Gordon McCully

MAST: Coun Mark Perks at the site of the proposed railway mast in Euxton

A railway communications mast is to be built in Euxton as part of a scheme to improve train safety.

Plans for the mast, to be sited close to Euxton junction, have been given a cautious welcome by a Chorley county councillor.

Cou Mark Perks, who represents Chorley north, said: "My normal objection to masts has been overridden by the need for improved safety on our local rail network.

"It is a critically important development for the safety of the railway."

Network Rail is investing £1.2bn to build the first national system of direct train driver to signaller communication which involves a railway specific version of the wireless global mobile communications system.

Coun Perks added: "Network Rail have acknowledged they are aware the appearance of a new, tall structure, no matter how carefully designed, can cause for concern for people living nearby.

"Although they are not obliged to obtain planning permission, they do work closely with local planning authorities. I think the most non controversial site has been chosen."

Network Rail public affairs spokesman Simon Brooks, said: "As part of the infrastructure enabling this system, railway communications masts have to be built.

"There might unfortunately be an impact on people who live alongside the railway, as it will not be possible in every case to ensure that masts can be wholly hidden from view."

He confirmed that the masts operate well within the UK safety and international emission guidelines.

Network Rail will write to all residents living within about 100 metres of the site. Residents with concerns can contact the national helpline on 08457 14141.

Plans for a phone mast in Euxton Lane, Euxton, have been rejected by Chorley Borough Council.

Hutchinson 3G submitted plans in February to build a mast on land south of the Bolton Wanderers training ground but planning officers, acting under delegated powers, have objected to the siting and design of the plans.

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