THE chairman of Partick Thistle has complained about work taking place on the Forth Bridge.

Jacqui Low, who lives in North Queensferry, is one of the residents highlighting safety issues, noise and poor communication surrounding Network Rail's £7.5 million refurbishment project.

She also questioned why a camera had been set up at the back of her home as part of the works, which are taking place above areas of the village.

At North Queensferry Community Council's meeting last week, Ms Low said: "For those of us living under the bridge, we have no safety netting above us. That's three months now.

"And we have seven-days-a-week working patterns.

"You hear them screaming and shouting to each other and doing what they do, it's 7.30 some mornings and in the middle of the night."

Community council chairman Iain Mitchell said Network Rail had told him they were not working in the area where safety netting had been in place.

But Ms Low said: "They're walking above my house! These are issues that we've raised repeatedly.

"They also have a camera pointing at my house, I have to check before I take a bath or shower as it's sitting at the back of my house.

"I want to talk to someone about that but no-one will."

Local councillor Dave Dempsey, who lives in the village, told the Press: "There's a lot of upset and rightly so, and the work is due to go on for quite a bit longer.

"Various things have been found and there seems to be a dispute between the folk that found them and Network Rail or their contractors as to whether these things have fallen from the bridge.

"The metal bolts on that bridge are not dainty little things. If one did fall from that height and hit you it would be the last thing you know."

He added: "They had netting up but when one of the storms hit it came away or split and was flapping around.

"Whether they've put up a camera to monitor the safety aspects, I don't know.

"It's been a really hot topic and Network Rail have not covered themselves in glory.

"At one of the previous community council meetings, they had one of the head guys and he gave the impression he couldn't be bothered."

Network Rail began work in December on a £7.5m project which includes refurbishing and repainting the North Queensferry approach span to the 131-year-old rail bridge.

The work includes grit-blasting layers of old paint off the steelwork to allow inspections to take place. The metal will then be repaired and repainted.

Balfour Beatty will also undertake other maintenance and improvement works as part of the contract – rail services will not be disrupted – and the entire programme is expected to last four years.

Mr Mitchell said they had been given comprehensive answers previously to their queries from Network Rail's technical staff but this had changed and, more recently, they had been given "bland assurances" from the PR team.

He added that the community council and Annabelle Ewing MSP are set to raise a number of concerns about the works with the company at a forthcoming meeting.

Ms Ewing said: “I completely understand the concerns expressed by a number of constituents about issues relating to the work that is being carried out on the Forth Bridge.

"I have taken those concerns up and I hope that they can be addressed to everyone’s satisfaction.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said:"The Forth Bridge is a vital part of our infrastructure, but it requires regular investment and maintenance to ensure it can continue to play its part in keeping Scotland’s railway moving.

“We are in regular dialogue with local residents, and the community council, about our work on the bridge and have provided them with a dedicated point of contact for raising any concerns.

“While we are committed to working responsibly and considerately, occasional noise and overnight working is unavoidable. We have systems in place to limit our impact on the local residents and also conduct regular noise monitoring.

"We also regularly review the netting, and other protections, in place on the bridge and netting is installed when and where our activities require it.”