Bonnybridge mum’s bridge works terror

Julia MacFarlane's windscreen
Julia MacFarlane's windscreen

A mother and her four-year-old daughter had a lucky escape after their car windscreen was damaged by rocks from a railway line as contractors worked on a bridge above.

Shocked Julia MacFarlane and her daughter Lucy were travelling into Falkirk from their home in Bonnybridge when the rocks struck their car as it went under the railway bridge at Camelon near the Falkirk Wheel.

Mrs MacFarlane immediately stopped her car as the windscreen shattered terrifying young Lucy.

The rail company has now apologised “unreservedly” for the incident, which occured on April 1.

When the 27-year-old mum called to the workers, who had seen the damage, she said they ignored her and carried on working even though rubble was still falling on to the road.

A shaky Mrs MacFarlane then called her husband Iain, an HGV driver, to tell him what had happened.

He raced to the scene from Cumbernauld.

He said: “There was a serious risk to other people using that road, but those workers did nothing. Even when I got there about 20 minutes later there was still rubble falling off the bridge onto the road and they were still working on.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My daughter was terrified and wouldn’t get back in the car so I had to drive it away and she and my wife drove my car home.

“It’s pretty shocking that the workers did nothing. No one even came down to see if my wife and daughter were all right. A manager from Network Rail finally appeared and that’s when one of the workers came down.

“My concern is that there were no real health and safety measures in place for the work they were doing or these workers were just ignoring them. Either way it shouldn’t have happened. What if something bigger had fallen?”

Mr MacFarlane added: “The fact that rocks fell off the bridge is really worrying. If something bigger had fallen from that height my family could have been seriously injured.”

The family said Network Rail had written apologising for the incident and taking full responsibility for repairs.

A spokesman said: “Network Rail apologises unreservedly to Mrs MacFarlane for this unfortunate incident. What happened is thankfully very rare and we are relieved that no one was seriously injured.

“At the time of the accident, we took steps to ensure that the work on the bridge was completed safely and without any further risk.

“Although satisfied that a full risk assessment for the work was carried out in advance and that what happened was an unfortunate, one-off occurrence, we have taken this opportunity to reiterate to our contractors the importance of delivering projects with the highest regard to the safety of those in and adjacent to our work sites.”