MP for Polegate Norman Baker was surprised and disappointed to learn from Polegate Town Council that the Signal Box in Polegate is once again under threat as a community resource. The MP is now asking Network Rail to think again and commit to their original promise.
Network Rail had offered the signal box at Polegate to the town council after a decision was made to automate the signals, thus making the box redundant, however Network Rail have now changed their position as it is not now being allowed to remain in its current location for “health and safety reasons”, particularly due to high voltage cables.
Norman says: “This is particularly disappointing given the fact that nothing about this was mentioned in any previous correspondence
“I am now told that Network Rail is willing to pay for the dismantling costs. However, the costs of reassembly in a new location to be arranged will have to either be borne by Polegate Town Council, or other parties”.
Discussions are ongoing and Network Rail have recently met with the Mayor of Polegate, Michael Clewett, who has been involved with this project for some time, as the intention is for the Signal Box to become a museum for the public to visit.
Norman added: “I find it difficult to understand how these “health and safety” matters can only have arisen at this late stage. Moreover, the signalmen who have been operating the box appear to have been able to work with this hazard.
“The Polegate Signal Box is very important to the town and clear undertakings have been given, and a great deal of time expended.”
Norman has written to Network Rail to urge them to find a way to deal with this alleged health and safety problem, if it exists, and which allows the signal box to remain in situ as previously agreed.