About time stations got de-vegged??

Meerkat

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Ignoring the adhesion issues isn’t it about time stations got their surrounds cleared out for personal security reasons (perceived or real).
There are a lot of stations, particularly in cuttings which are cut off by tree cover - some you can barely see on aerial photos. It makes the platforms gloomier and cut off from natural surveillance - unseen from nearby buildings and roads.
I appreciate cutting down trees is a sensitive issue, and neighbours might want to be shielded from passengers and lighting but isn’t it time it was considered as part of making the railways welcoming to non or infrequent users?
 
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Dr Hoo

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Living in a rural area I supposed that I am resigned to the idea of not being under continual 'natural surveillance' (and quite like trees as they provide some shelter from winds and rain beyond the fairly minimalist shelters found at many unstaffed stations). A walk to the local station has far more hazards such as 1 in 5 hills on icy, untreated minor roads; no pavement beside thundering agricultural and quarry traffic between dry stone walls; no street lighting; deep mud, manure and large 'inquisitive' farm animals on alternative footpaths and so forth.

Could Meerkat give some examples of 'gloomy' and off-putting stations in this context?
 

Bantamzen

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Ignoring the adhesion issues isn’t it about time stations got their surrounds cleared out for personal security reasons (perceived or real).
There are a lot of stations, particularly in cuttings which are cut off by tree cover - some you can barely see on aerial photos. It makes the platforms gloomier and cut off from natural surveillance - unseen from nearby buildings and roads.
I appreciate cutting down trees is a sensitive issue, and neighbours might want to be shielded from passengers and lighting but isn’t it time it was considered as part of making the railways welcoming to non or infrequent users?
Given that we are increasingly concerned about the environment, surely more green is needed in our towns & cities, not less? Station security can still be achieved when their is greenery present.
 

Meerkat

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You can have greenery without big trees....
Deepdene, despite being right next to a busy main road, can feel very isolated because the trees mean you can’t see the road, nor stand anywhere you can be seen from the road.
When you are trying to tempt people out of their cars you need to make them comfortable and relaxed.
 

Bletchleyite

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Given that we are increasingly concerned about the environment, surely more green is needed in our towns & cities, not less? Station security can still be achieved when their is greenery present.
Milton Keynes is going through a process of lopping out greenery to make the Redways more visible to the roads, which deals with a perception issue (the crime rate on the Redways is in fact very low). However, unfortunately it's really changing the look of the place to be far less green, and I think that's really sad, not to mention the habitats it is no doubt destroying.
 

Bantamzen

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Milton Keynes is going through a process of lopping out greenery to make the Redways more visible to the roads, which deals with a perception issue (the crime rate on the Redways is in fact very low). However, unfortunately it's really changing the look of the place to be far less green, and I think that's really sad, not to mention the habitats it is no doubt destroying.
If there's one thing I really hate, it is de-greening of public spaces. Years ago Bradford city centre had quite a bit of greenery, which the council then tore up and replaced with miles of soulless concrete. All it achieved was to further expose some of the typically awful 60s & 70s concrete carbuncles that replaced some older, and much more grand Victorian buildings (so I am told, I was only 6 when we moved to Bradford back in 1976!).

Personally I love spaces that have greenery, it makes the place feel nicer and so much more alive. Honolulu airport for example has a wonderful gardened area that you walk through on arrival / departure. Its really uplifting to see it and hear the birds singing, especially after a 6 hour flight from LA with an extreme hangover.... :D
 

high camera

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As you can probably tell from my name Im a photographer, a few years back I tried some then and now photos but quickly realised its almost impossible as what were wide open well kept embankments are now generally overgrown with bramble and out of control trees, all of which catches rubbish which never seems to be cleared up. My big gripe is not really the greenery generally, its the vegetation that is allowed to grow in walls, gutters, chimneys and all other places it shouldnt be. Surely this will cause damage if left unchecked.
 

Meerkat

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Milton Keynes is going through a process of lopping out greenery to make the Redways more visible to the roads, which deals with a perception issue (the crime rate on the Redways is in fact very low). However, unfortunately it's really changing the look of the place to be far less green, and I think that's really sad, not to mention the habitats it is no doubt destroying.
It doesn’t have to be too bad IF you are willing to spend on maintenance.
Pick trees with thinner canopies, and which start higher up (or are trimmed as such) so that you can see ‘under’ the trees.
Have good low vegetation. Round here lots of verges and roundabouts were converted to meadows of longer grass and wildflowers. They look amazing when in full bloom.
 
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My big gripe is not really the greenery generally, its the vegetation that is allowed to grow in walls, gutters, chimneys and all other places it shouldnt be. Surely this will cause damage if left unchecked.
That's also my pet hate and I too suspect that it must gradually weaken the structures.
 

Bletchleyite

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It doesn’t have to be too bad IF you are willing to spend on maintenance.
Pick trees with thinner canopies, and which start higher up (or are trimmed as such) so that you can see ‘under’ the trees.
Have good low vegetation. Round here lots of verges and roundabouts were converted to meadows of longer grass and wildflowers. They look amazing when in full bloom.
Unfortunately what MKC seem to have mostly done is lopped the bushes out but replaced with nothing, so the weeds are now growing in their place.

Some of it is coppicing (so they will regrow) but a fair bit of it isn't.
 

trainmania100

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Suprised London road - moulsecoomb - Falmer hasn't been devegged/reballasted, the mud is packed against the sleepers and weeds growing out of it
 

D365

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Buddleia! Essential that it is removed
Makes the structure look uncared for.
Is there any argument that can be made against its removal, other than cost? Just thinking in terms of certain individuals who might argue that this clearance of lineside vegetation is ecologically damaging..?
 
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Is there any argument that can be made against its removal, other than cost? Just thinking in terms of certain individuals who might argue that this clearance of lineside vegetation is ecologically damaging..?
Some time ago someone posted in another thread that British Rail used to deploy a very effective weed killer but that it's no longer acceptable to use it. I believe that's the biggest single reason we now have so much uncontrolled vegetation sprouting up all over the railway. It's time for a re-think because I don't remember any adverse consequences from British Rail's methods.
 

Mikey C

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I thought this thread was going to be a moan about trendy vegetarian and vegan cafes at stations not serving burgers and meat pies :D
 

Mogster

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The last time I travelled on it pre leaf fall parts of the Atherton line were like the lost world. The drivers must feel it’s like pushing the train through a green tunnel...
 

30909

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The main chemical used until its approval was withdrawn in the late 1980s was atrazine a very effective residual herbicide. It's problem, amongst others, was it was poisonous to aquatic life and, being applied to track ballast and the cess would readily leach out and make its way to water courses. Subsequent herbicides approved for use are effective but generally not residual so require to be applied to the foliage of, preferably vigorously growing plants, a reason why weed killing appears to be left until late in the spring/summer.
 
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The main chemical used until its approval was withdrawn in the late 1980s was atrazine a very effective residual herbicide. It's problem, amongst others, was it was poisonous to aquatic life and, being applied to track ballast and the cess would readily leach out and make its way to water courses. Subsequent herbicides approved for use are effective but generally not residual so require to be applied to the foliage of, preferably vigorously growing plants, a reason why weed killing appears to be left until late in the spring/summer.
Thank you for that. I'd forgotten the details. I question the notion that alternative herbicides are effective as the results suggest otherwise.
 

30909

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Thank you for that. I'd forgotten the details. I question the notion that alternative herbicides are effective as the results suggest otherwise.
Effective implies that they do work but the timing and method of application is more critical to success and as some of the mixture is a trans-located formula it has to get to the roots of the plants before there is noticeable effect. (see Glyphosate). IMO, the regulatory framework for pesticides is bizarre where modern Active Substances (AS) have been banned, through political and mostly non scientific pressures, while historic AS retain approval but are inherently more environmentally damaging.
 

HSTEd

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This sort of thing sounds like a money pit into which huge piles of money could be poured but people would still feel unsafe on stations or whatever.
 

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