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Totterdown residents say lives 'are being made a misery' by idling trains

GWR has said trains ‘idling’ outside Bristol Temple Meads is unavoidable Credit: Bristol Live

People living on a south Bristol street have launched a campaign to stop trains being left running under their homes.

The residents of the famous coloured houses of Totterdown are calling on railway authorities to change this practice.

They say their lives are being made a misery by trains which park up and wait, with their big diesel engines running, often for as long as an hour.

Residents of St Luke's Crescent and other nearby streets were aware they would be living by a railway line when they moved in.

But say they did not realise the amount of noise and air pollution the trains would cause.

Residents say the trains have become such a daily nuisance that in the summer they are inside their homes by 7pm to avoid the pollution. Credit: Bristol Live

Many of the residents have lived in the area for a long time and say they have noticed the issue getting worse over the past two or three years.

Their campaign - backed by MP Karin Smyth and local councillors - is asking GWR, Network Rail and other train companies to stop the practice.

It seems continual, from very early in the morning until very late at night, every day. I have young children, who should be protected from the pollution.

I understand I chose to live next to the railway, and I am happy with the noise of passing trains 24/7. But I think the trains stopping directly outside our house is not necessary.

They can stop 150 or 200 metres further from Temple Meads, adjacent to the park, where no residents are affected.

– Amelie Mondon, resident
Residents say their health, homes and happiness is being affected. Credit: Bristol Live

GWR said it had worked to reduce the number of trains which wait in affected locations but sometimes it cannot be helped.

Reports suggest as Temple Meads gets busier, trains that have ended their journey at Bristol have to move away from the station to free up platforms for other trains, and wait nearby to go back into service.

Reports also suggest if trains are waiting in the sidings underneath Totterdown for a few minutes it's more efficient to keep them running.

Turning the engine off would would require a full start-up which can take a long time.

Each and every train service we provide means up to 650 fewer cars on Bristol’s roads.

While we aim to be a good neighbour we are not able to provide the number of local services the city needs without making use of these sidings. We will however always try to keep idling trains to a minimum.

To be able to meet growing demand for rail services and limited track and platform space at Bristol Temple Meads, some trains have to wait at sidings outside of the station for short periods of time.

– GWR Spokesperson