Railway safety risk

2016-04-05 06:00
Somerset Park residents in Retreat are complaining about a missing fence along the railway line which had become a huge safety risk for them.

Somerset Park residents in Retreat are complaining about a missing fence along the railway line which had become a huge safety risk for them.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Somerset Park Residents in Retreat are living in fear because of the missing fence along the railway line and complain that it is a safety concern.

They say over a couple of months the palisade slabs where removed one after the other until it was all gone. Now they are worried that the missing fence has become a safety risk for them.

Recently an old woman’s house was broken into and there has been an increase in crime in that area and they blame it all on the missing fence.

Resident Claudia Hendricks says the area is unsafe for them now.

“It used to be peaceful and quiet. Now you have to look over your shoulder all the time. People sitting on corners scare me. We have elderly people that are at home alone during the day; they are not safe at all. I have sent several emails to (the railway) but all they do is pass it on to the next person and we never get a response. We are not asking for something that costs millions – we just want a fence so that we can be safe,” she says.

To add insult to residents’ injuries, there is a worry that the lack of fence is exacerbating illegal dumping, creating a health hazard. Vagrants are also allegedly sleeping and defecating at the site.

“The place is very unhygienic. We want something done. We are at risk, and have also had kids ringing the doorbell constantly running in and out the area,” says Hendricks.

“This has really become unpleasant and it’s getting worse. There have been people squatting as their blankets are hanging over the trees, the litter is increasing daily. The area is appalling, unhygienic and becoming more unsafe by the day due the increase of the strange people that are walking up and down via the through-fare.”

Residents have tried to get the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) to fix the fence, but all their calls fell on deaf ears, they say.

Prasa had not commented at the time of going to print.

Kevin Southgate, the ward councillor in the area, has been trying numerous times to get Prasa to the party, but nothing has been done.

“I visited the site and the conditions are appalling. People are dumping on the vacant plot adjacent to the fence which is totally exposed to the railway tracks,” says Southgate.

“It is unfair for the residents to be exposed to the social ills associated with the status of the property as well as having their personal safety and that of their property compromised,” he says.

The situation at Retreat station is becoming intolerable as it continues to compromise the safety of neighbours and pedestrians, Southgate adds.

“The lack of response from (the railway) increases the exposure of the affected communities to the risk of crime.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.