TRAIN horns sounding as early as 4am are being blamed for keeping “thousands” of residents in a Lothians town awake at night.
Loud blasts emanating from a depot at Bathgate Railway Station have been disturbing residents between the hours of 4-6am for more than a year.
A petition calling for the noise to be stopped has already been supported by 600 people – with campaigners insisting they could easily reach up to 3000 signatures.
Bathgate East Tenants and Residents Association and Bathgate councillor Harry Cartmill, who are behind the petition, plan to hand it to ScotRail’s chief executive in an effort to put a stop to the “nightly ritual”.
Association chairman Michael Murnin, said: “It’s disgusting this hasn’t been dealt with.
“The problem has been brought up at our meetings every month. Everybody, especially those that live near the station, are demented by this – they can’t get a decent night’s sleep. In one night, the horns can sound a couple of times, but, on another, it could be 20.”
Bathgate MP Michael Connarty contacted ScotRail to outline residents’ complaints and was told the horns were used for health and safety reasons.
But Mr Murnin said: “We’ve had people from as far away as Glenmavis, which is on the other side of the town, complaining.”
Cllr Cartmill said despite strong objections to the horns sounding, the variety of “weak” responses given in reply were inconsistent.
He added: “As a ‘Bathgate Bairn’ who campaigned successfully for the rail link to Glasgow to be re-established, the last thing I or the people of Bathgate expected was that it would be at the cost of our human right to a night’s undisturbed rest.
“Bathgate is home to a population of 18,000 and is built on a hill. The noise of the train horns, especially at night, carries, so this is an issue affecting the whole town.
“If I was driving my car and beeped the horn at 5am in the morning I would be committing an offence. People need a decent night’s sleep and that’s all we are asking for.”
“There’s thousands of people in Bathgate who will be saying ‘hurrah’ if we put a stop to this.”
Campaigners plan to hand the petition to ScotRail chief executive Steven Montgomery at his Glasgow office. But ScotRail insisted that it is has already taken action and is close to resolving the issue.
A spokesman said: “We have reduced the use of warning horns and are now working on new guidelines to end complaints. The use of warning horns is part of safety checks.”