Friday 24 Mar 2017
Network Rail submits final proposals to close or modify level crossings across Suffolk
Network Rail has applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to close or modify 24 level crossings across Suffolk.
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, September and December 2016. Following analysis of all the responses from the public and other stakeholders, many plans have been adapted. Seven level crossings have been removed from the project; Great Barton, Steggalls, Finningham, Rectory Road, Beecroft, Haughley Green and Westerfield footpath level crossing.
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. The closures 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
The proposal also looks 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.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.