Network Rail unveils new bridge in Dorset to improve pedestrian safety: Network Rail is joined by Dorset County  Council, Purbeck District Council and Wool Parish Council for the opening of the new footbridge at Wool 1

Friday 5 Aug 2016

Network Rail unveils new bridge in Dorset to improve pedestrian safety

Route:
Wessex
South East

Network Rail has opened a new footbridge in Wool, Dorset as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver a better, safer railway.

The new footbridge, which provides safe access for users to cross the railway, replaces two previous level crossings in Wool, and is part of a scheme to dramatically reduce the risk at level crossings in the area.

The footbridge was opened by Network Rail alongside representatives from Dorset County Council, Purbeck District Council and Wool Parish Council.

Alex Boatfield, assistant commercial scheme sponsor at Network Rail said, “The new footbridge is a significant improvement in terms of safety, not just because it completely eliminates the risk of being hit by a train, but it also has a non-slip surface, handrails and lighting for users.

“I’m delighted to be able to open the new footbridge here in Wool, and would like to thank the community for their patience while we carried out the upgrades.”

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset said, “I am delighted with this new footbridge as it will be inevitably safer for those on foot to cross this busy line, in addition reassurance to drivers of the train.  I am grateful to Network Rail for completing the new bridge especially as the village could expand shortly which would have only added to the dangers of the two previous crossings in the village.”

Simon Gledhill, network traffic manager at Dorset County Council said, “As part of this project and working closely with the County Council, an additional much needed footpath link will be built to enable the public to walk between East Burton and Wool Station safely. This path is being constructed by Dorset Highways and will take advantage of the re-cycling of road plannings to achieve an ergonomic and sustainable path which, in a short space of time, will blend into the rural setting.”

Cherry Brooks, economy and infrastructure portfolio holder at Purbeck District Council and ward member for Wool said, “We’re delighted to have been involved in the new footbridge, which gives much better pedestrian access between East Burton and Wool.”

Rod Webb, chairman of Wool Parish Council said, “Wool Parish Council has been involved with the plans for improved railway pedestrian crossings in the parish since August 2011. It was good to see the official opening of the new footbridge which will benefit the residents of the parish as well as the holidaymakers staying at the caravan and camping park close by. The Parish Council congratulates Network Rail with its community involvement in the project, and the council now looks forward to future crossing improvements at Baileys Drove.”

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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.

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