Tuesday 14 Mar 2017
Network Rail submits final proposals to close or modify level crossings across Cambridgeshire
Network Rail has applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to close or modify 29 level crossings across Cambridgeshire.
The company has been working to reduce the risk that level crossings pose and has developed proposals to manage the possible closure or change of use of around 130 level crossings in Anglia across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Havering, Hertfordshire, Southend and Thurrock.
Public consultation events took place across the county in June and September 2016 with a further information event was held in Foxton in December. Following analysis of all the responses from the public and other stakeholders, many plans have been adapted. Four level crossings have been removed from the project; Adelaide, Wicken Road and Munceys crossings in the north east of the region and Barrington Road crossing at Foxton.
Closing level crossings and diverting to alternatives will make the railway safer by removing the point where people can come into contact with trains. The closures will also help improve efficiency and reliability. Their closure will facilitate potential future developments for faster and more frequent services.
The crossings identified for potential closure include those where:
- there are private rights only
- people can easily be diverted to where a nearby alternative exists
- a new public route to a nearby alternative can be provided
- We will also look to downgrade level crossings to non-motorised users. None of the crossings in this proposal involve closing public A or B roads.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have carried out a comprehensive programme of consultation to fully understand the impact of our proposals and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed. As intended, the feedback we received has informed our final proposals, and we await the decision of the Secretary of State. We understand that public rights of way are an important part of life in this region, and have maintained connectivity where possible in our plans. We are committed to improving safety and efficiency at level crossings as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”
Closures, if agreed, will take place from late 2018. Network Rail will also continue to modify or close its highest risk crossings as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.
Notes to editors
In order to secure the powers necessary to implement the proposals, such as the dedication of public rights of way across private land, extinguishments of existing rights and alteration of rights including downgrading of roads, we will apply in March 2017 for three Transport and Works Act Orders (TWAOs) to the Secretary of State for Transport. The TWAO applications are grouped by county as below.
- The county of Suffolk (The Suffolk Level Crossing Reduction Order);
- The county of Cambridgeshire (The Cambridgeshire Level Crossing Reduction Order);
- The county of Essex, the county of Hertfordshire, the unitary authorities of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea and the London Borough of Havering (The Essex and Others Level Crossing Reduction Order).
To inform the application, we consulted with the public and relevant statutory bodies. The feedback submitted to us and how Network Rail has taken account of it forms part of a consultation report which supports the Transport and Works Act Order application.
Copies of the applications and supporting documents are available to view and download at www.networkrail.co.uk/anglialevelcrossings
Objections, representations and letters of support can be made by anyone by the following dates:
- For Cambridgeshire: 25 April 2017
- For Suffolk: 5 May 2017
- For Essex, London Borough of Havering, Hertfordshire, Southend and Thurrock: 12 May 2017
These should be sent to:
Secretary of State for Transport c/o Transport and Works Act Orders Unit,
General Counsel's Office, Department for Transport, Zone 1/18, Great Minster House,
33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR.
You can also contact them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An objection or representation must:
- Be received by the Secretary of State on or before the dates above.
- Be made in writing (whether sent by post or email)
- State the grounds of the objection or other representation
- Indicate who is making the objection or representation
- Give a postal address to which correspondence relating to the objection or representation may be sent
If you are sending your objection or other representation by post or e-mail, please provide a postal address and state “Network Rail Anglia Level Crossing Reductions TWA Order” in the subject of the letter or email.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.