THE failure of transport bosses to tackle anti-social behaviour at a tram stop has “condemned local residents to lives of misery”, Rochdale’s MP has argued.
This week, Simon Danczuk and Kingsway councillor Daalat Ali met with Transport for Greater Manchester to discuss the ongoing problems at Newbold Metrolink Stop.
Homeowners living near the stop have raised concerns about vandals throwing the loose stones from the track bed at nearby houses.
But criminal damage is just the latest in a long line of problems that TfGM have caused the people of Newbold.
During expansion of the Metrolink line, significant structural damage was caused to houses along the route and a gap in the security fence left homes vulnerable to break-ins.
Despite this, both residents and councillors say that TfGM have been unresponsive and dismissive of all complaints.
Cllr Ali, who has campaigned for years to have the vandalism problem resolved, said: “These residents haven't had a proper response from TfGM for five years.
“They have stones piling up in their gardens, their greenhouses have been ruined and they’ve had their windows broken. Some of them are scared to go out in their back gardens.”
The site is equipped with CCTV but footage has been used to hand a caution to just two teenage culprits. TfGM argue it is powerless to act unless residents report all incidents via the 101 police non-emergency number.
But Mr Danczuk said members of the public face lengthy waits when calling 101 and that it should not be the victim's responsibility to tackle the issue.
He said: “This is a bureaucratic nightmare, TfGM are procedurally condemning these people to lives of misery.
“They have had years to deal with this problem and what have they actually done? Just two people have been caught and been given a slap on the wrist.
“It’s a mystery to me why there has to be some many stones on the track in the first place. Surely there should be an engineering solution.”
At the meeting, a TfGM spokesman confirmed they hoped to work with Greater Manchester Police to boost security at the stop.