And finally… Perth footbridge nominated for ‘worst planning decision’

A footbridge installed as part of a £3.8 million upgrade at Perth railway station has been nominated for a Carbuncle Award.

The structure is in the running for the Pock Mark category, which recognises the worst planning decision.

The footbridge was installed in 2012 to help the station comply with modern disability legislation.

The site, which retains much of its original Victorian architecture, was nominated by Transform Scotland.

Paul Tetlaw, Transform Scotland’s rail campaigner, said: “It’s an off-the-shelf structure that has desecrated the station environment, imposed from London by ‘standards bound’ Network Rail designers and has no fit with the largely Victorian surroundings.

“To add insult to injury, it’s virtually unused, as the alternatives within the station building are vastly more convenient for the overwhelming majority of passengers. This tacky and inappropriate new structure is thought to have cost in excess of £1m — money which would have been better spent on opening a new station in nearby Newburgh, which has none, with cash left over for a feasibility study of recreating a direct Perth-Edinburgh link, as advocated by our inter-city express campaign.”

He added: “Because it partly obscures the platform-end signal, trains now stop much further along the platform nearer the footbridge, which means that a large part of a three-car train is now beyond the roof canopy of Perth station. Lessons need to learnt from this sorry episode, which will permanently blight the Perth station environment.

“Planners should be realistic in what they can expect in a working, albeit listed, railway station, and Network Rail has to be more responsive to local circumstances in its treatment of listed structures.”

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