Fed-up Barrhead residents have branded a pigeon poo deterrent scheme as a flop.

Network Rail had agreed to install wire meshing underneath a bridge next to the town’s train station to prevent birds gathering and leaving their droppings on the ground below.

Pavements linking Paisley Road with Cross Arthurlie Street had become a no-go zone for pedestrians, with the bird mess often several inches thick.

However, people living near the site say the new mesh only covers part of the underside of the bridge – and large gaps have been left where pigeons are able to continue to roost and leave their droppings.

Alan Patton, 70, is among the local residents who have hit out and demanded a more effective solution to the problem.

He told the Barrhead News: “Things are just as bad as before, if not worse.

“The pigeons are flying about in the same numbers, to find the spaces that have been left.

“It means they make more noise, create more disturbance and leave more mess.”

Residents have also complained about pigeon carcasses hanging from the underside of the bridge and eggs from nests falling out and smashing onto the ground below.

In addition, concerns have been raised about the welfare of pupils heading to three local primary schools – Cross Arthurlie, Carlibar and St John’s – who have to walk under the bridge on their way to and from lessons.
Retired human resources manager Alan said local residents have been complaining about pigeon droppings at the railway bridge for the last 15 years.

“I cannot understand why Network Rail thought that the mesh panels they have installed would be enough to fix this,” added the Barrhead grandad.

“Most of the horizontal steel beams remain uncovered and there is ample space for a whole colony of pigeons.”

Network Rail installed the wire mesh last month.

It is understood that, had the work not been carried out at that stage, East Renfrewshire Council would have sought an enforcement order against the firm.

Barrhead councillor Danny Devlin, who had campaigned for new netting to be installed, said: “Only the areas of the bridge which cover the pavement and footpaths have been meshed off to stop them being covered in pigeon droppings.

“I have been told they would have to close off the main road for a week to mesh the whole bridge, which they were not willing to do.

“I am not happy with that explanation. I have asked the council to speak with Network Rail with a view to having the entire area under the bridge covered over.”

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Netting has been installed on the structure to help reduce birds’ access to the areas above the pavement.

“The entire structure has not been covered as that would reduce our engineers’ ability to properly inspect and maintain the bridge.”