Network Rail - horn sounding letter. Apology received

Last week residents in the vicinity of the Green Lane Public Footpath Crossing received a letter from Network Rail stating that with effect from 10th December 2016 all trains between the hours of 6am and midnight would be sounding their horns as they approached the Green Lane crossing as an increased safety measure. (See below also)

Understandably this created much distress at the prospect of train horns sounding at least every 15 minutes throughout the day and most of the night. Many residents wrote to us at the ARA, and also wrote to Network Rail expressing dismay at these draconian measures.

Today, Network Rail have issued a strong apology saying the original letter should NOT have been sent and blamed a communication error. To quote Reggie Perrin's brother-in-law it "was a bit of a cock-up on the communication front.".

Network Rails letter of apology is below in full with also a link to the original.

Please though be aware you will still hear the occasional horn blow if, for example there are Rail staff working on the line, or the driver finds it necessary to sound a warning. This though is no different to what occurs now.


5th December 2016
Dear all,

Network Rail has received a number of queries regarding the proposed alterations to the night time quiet period (NTQP) from Ashtead councillors and residents in the last week. I would like to make clear that these alterations will not in fact affect any of the level crossings in the Ashtead area. The NTQP letter was sent erroneously by our communication team, and the times at which trains sound their horns will not change. I would like to apologise for the distress that this has caused to local residents, and can confirm that I am investigating why this error occurred, and how we can prevent such an incident occurring again. Please be aware that this is not related to any other projects taking place in the Ashtead area, and is simply a result of human error.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer a brief update regarding the level crossing risk reduction scheme at Green Lane footpath crossing. Network Rail is continuing to liaise with schools in the area to organise a series of railway safety workshops, the first of which will be held at Barnett Wood School. Furthermore, we are well aware of the facility the crossing provides to the local community, and the safety of everyone who comes into contact with the railway is our highest priority and we have a responsibility to ensure this. To that end, we intend to work closely with Surrey County Council to address both the legal status and mitigation measures of the crossing. I hope to provide a clearer and more detailed update in the New Year.

Again, I apologise for the distress that the error regarding the NTQP letter has caused. If any further clarity is required, please contact Alex Boatfield, Green Lane Project Sponsor, on 07734647386 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

Stewart Firth
Principal Sponsor for Route Investment
Stewart Firth
Network Rail Principal Sponsor for Route Investment, Wessex Route
20 Eastbourne Terrace

Serious incident at the crossing

The Residents' Association has been informed that there was a serious incident recently at the Green Lane Crossing. A Southern train driver had to apply the brakes on his train because of children playing "chicken" across the railway. As a consequence of being distracted the driver overshot a red signal. This in itself is a serious consequence and a reason for disciplinary action against the experienced driver.

If any resident sees children playing this stupid and dangerous game please telephone the Police.