Kirknewton level crossing in West Lothian will close this weekend for two weeks while Network Rail carries out a major upgrade.
The crossing will close from Sunday May 19 to Sunday June 2 (inclusive) to allow a new double barrier system to be installed. The new system will be CCTV monitored and will utilise object detection technology to reduce the risk of a collision should vehicles or pedestrians attempt to cross at danger.
David Simpson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Scotland, said: “Where level crossings exist, it is Network Rail’s duty to provide the safest possible interface between road and rail. This upgrade to Kirknewton level crossing will significantly reduce the risk of a collision occurring in this location.
“The nature of the work being carried out means that a road closure is required during the installation. We recognise that this will cause short-term inconvenience to residents in the village and drivers using the B7031 but we have put in place measures which we believe will help to lessen the impact. We would advise train and bus passengers to allow at least 20 additional minutes to complete their journeys while this work is being carried out.”
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, added: “We are using customer information screens and on-train announcements to make passengers aware of the Kirknewton level crossing closure.
“We’re encouraging them to arrive at least 20 minutes early if the platform they are travelling from is on the other side of the crossing. A free bus service will operate between either side of the crossing during the closure.”
Network Rail will run two pedestrian shuttle buses for the duration of the road closure, linking one side of the crossing to the other via an alternative route. The bus, which will operate 24 hours a day, will depart every 15 minutes from either side of the crossing when required. West Lothian Council will put in place a diversionary route for road traffic.
An additional shuttle bus will pick up/drop off at all local bus stops through Kirknewton Village and connect with the No.28 bus at the junction of Station Road (B7031) and Milrig Road. An additional stop will be made by this service in Wilkieston.
Rail services will be replaced by buses on the following dates:
- Sunday 19th May
- Saturday 25th May to Wednesday 29th May (inclusive)
- Saturday 1st June
- Sunday 2nd June
On all other dates during the closure, the rail service will operate as normal. Due to traffic restrictions within the surrounding area a shuttle bus will operate between Kirknewton station and Curriehill station to meet up with the main rail replacement service connecting to Edinburgh and Livingston.
The new level crossing will come into operation on Sunday 2nd June. The crossing will be closely monitored and a driver awareness initiative will be carried out to make motorists and pedestrians aware of the changes.
David Simpson added: “We have spoken to residents in Kirknewton and understand that there are some concerns about the length of time that the barriers may be in the down position and the knock-on disruption to residents. We have modelled the likely barrier down times and do not believe that there will be a significant impact on road traffic, however, we will closely monitor the barriers after installation to check that they are functioning correctly and are not causing undue disruption to the village.”