Closing level crossings
Members of the public across the Anglia region are being invited to attend a series of consultation events connected to the potential closure of a large number of level crossings. The events – organised by Network Rail – allow local residents and those from further afield to view potential plans to close or modify level crossings across the country, by altering the public Rights of Way network.
Network Rail believes that closing level crossings and diverting to alternatives will make the railway safer by removing the point where members of the public come into contact with trains. The closures will help to improve reliability and enable separate, potential future developments for faster and more frequent services.
Crossings identified for potential closure include those where a new public route can be provided; those where pedestrians/cyclists/horse riders can be diverted to a nearby alternative crossing point; those where a crossing can be altered for use by pedestrians/cyclists/horse riders only; and those where there are private rights only.
None of the crossings in the proposal involve closing public A or B roads.
Public consultation events have been taking place in Harlow, Witham, Colchester, Saffron Walden, Upminster, Wickford, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Ispwich.
Consultation sessions have taken place throughout the month of June, with further consultations taking place in late summer. The results of the consultation will feed into agreed plans being put forward early next year, under Transport & Works Act Orders.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said:
“We know that public Rights of Way are an important part of country life in this region, and where possible, we will maintain this connectivity with the countryside and in some cases will improve the Rights of Way network.
“Our plans to close level crossings propose small changes to how people cross the railway but the closures will help us reduce the risks that level crossings pose, improve safety and reliability of the railway for the future.”
If agreed, level crossing closures will begin in 2018 and run through 2019. Network Rail will continue to upgrade or close its highest risk crossings as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.
For more information about the public consultation events or to find out more about the proposed closure of level crossings, please visit: www.networkrail.co.uk.