Rail?s death trap
By SALLY GORDON
GRAFTON'S unfenced viaduct is a fatality waiting to happen, say Prince Street businessmen and police.
Grafton's business community, the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the police want the Australian Rail Track Corporation to fence-off the viaduct which runs across Prince Street through Grafton's CBD.
Police Chief Inspector Darren Spooner said people were using the viaduct as a vantage point to throw rocks at businesses adjoining the rail line and as a means of crossing town.
Vandals have scooped up ballast rocks and thrown them at property.
Chief Insp Spooner believes it's only a matter of time before someone is hit by a train.
"A lot of people get up on the track, they use the ballast to throw at Black Toyota or Hession's Auto below," Chief Insp Spooner said.
"People actually run on the track when police are chasing them and use it as a way to get across town ... if you fell off and fell on your head you'd die, without a doubt."
Black Toyota Grafton general manager Danny Scott, along with Chief Insp Spooner and the chamber of commerce, have written to the ARTC asking it to fence the viaduct and secure the rocks on the railway line with wire netting.
"We've had considerable damage done to our vehicles and our premises with rocks that have been obtained from the railway," Mr Scott told the ARTC.
"On the last occasion we had over $10,000 worth of damage to vehicles. Numerous other businesses in Prince Street also had considerable damage."
The ARTC on Friday stated the issue was under consideration and concerns raised would be answered.
"We are in the process of replying to the local police representation with a view to organising in the near future a small community gathering of affected people so that the issue can be addressed as a group," an ARTC spokesperson said.
"The local delivery manager and team leader will attend to represent ARTC."