Concerns raised over lack of pigeon 'pest control' under old railway bridge


Concerns have been raised about a “lack of pest control” under an old railway bridge in a Renfrewshire village.

Dozens of pigeons are said to have taken shelter underneath the structure in Easwald Bank, Kilbarchan.

The situation arose after the deterioration of netting designed to prevent bird access on the bridge, which is the responsibility of Sustrans, the custodian of the National Cycle Network.

Councillor Gillian Graham, a Labour rep for the village, said there were dead birds “trapped in the net” in what she described as a “gruesome” sight.

She called for “immediate action” to deal with the issue and also urged the charity to renew paintwork on the structure.

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Councillor Graham said: “Constituents in Kilbarchan have raised concerns with me about the lack of pest control under the old railway bridge and the shabby and rusting state of its paintwork.

“The old netting to stop bird access under the bridge is in a shocking condition with significant parts of it either absent or torn. As a result, dozens of pigeons roost and nest there.

“There are dead birds trapped in the net and young and adult birds are regularly run over by cars when they fall from their nest.

“It’s a gruesome and regular sight.

“Added to this is the potential health hazard caused by the amount of pigeon droppings across the pavements under the bridge, which Kilbarchan children walk over on their way to school every day.

“This is a serious pest control concern, and I am calling upon Sustrans to take immediate action to remove the birds and replace the netting.

“I have informed the council’s environment and infrastructure services and they will liaise with Sustrans to bring about a prompt solution.

“At the same time, I have also requested that Sustrans remedy the state of the bridge paintwork which is many years old and an eyesore.”

A Sustrans spokesperson said the relevant teams have been alerted to the concerns raised by Councillor Graham.

The organisation said steps would be taken to address the issue “as soon as we are able to” in a statement.

It said: “When issues arise along them, we are grateful to all members of the community who take the time to make us aware of these.

“Our relevant teams have been urgently notified of the problems raised by Councillor Graham and we will be taking steps to address the immediate issue as soon as we are able to.

“This will include arranging for traffic management in order to remove the netting safely.

“We will then look at addressing the longer-term issues with the pigeons, subject to being able to allocate the necessary funding.”

However, the charity said it would not be able to paint the bridge “on aesthetic grounds”.

“This is one of several hundred bridges and other structures that we are responsible for,” the statement continued.

“Sustrans has limited funding for maintenance of these structures and so has to prioritise work to maintain them in a safe condition.

“Kilbarchan bridge is structurally sound. We will therefore be unable to repaint the bridge on aesthetic grounds.”

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