Friday 13 Feb 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
Network Rail has received a pat on the back from local residents and organisations following its successful project to resurface a level crossing. The rail company responded to complaints over the condition of the road surface where the major A49 trunk road crosses the line at Onibury, Craven Arms, by successfully implementing a plan to close the road and refurbish the surface, even managing to reopen the road a day ahead of schedule. “The road surface was in a very poor condition. This did not pose any problem or safety issues for the trains but made it extremely uncomfortable for drivers using the crossing,” said Lee Green, Network Rail’s Maintenance Delivery Manager. “The old Omni-units –a bit like rubber blocks – had deteriorated and we were no longer able simply to repair them. The upshot was that any vehicles using the line had to cross very slowly because the surface was so bumpy.” Network Rail liaised closely with Shropshire County Council, the Highways Agency, and other local organisations such as Craven Arms Town Council and the A49 Safety Campaign Group over the best course of action. The road was closed and a four-and-a-half-mile diversion set up. Plans were in place for an alternative diversion that could be set up at a moment’s notice if the first diversionary route became blocked due to any accidents. -more- Crossing – 2             The surface has now been replace with Polysafe units – a type of concrete within a steel frame –, which are very hardwearing. Although permission had been given to close the road for a week, Network Rail contractors managed to complete the £150,000 project a day early and so reopen the road.             “This was very significant,” said Lee. “The A49 is a very busy trunk road and its closure presented a real inconvenience to road users, so we were delighted to be able to reopen it a day earlier than planned.”             Peter Jones, Honorary Secretary of the A49 Safety Campaign Group, said he was delighted with the way Network Rail had managed the resurfacing project and liaised with local groups and organisations. He said: “The whole community is appreciative of the work which was completed in a speedy and efficient way. With Network Rail and the Highways Agency combing so well the whole scheme was completed with the minimum of disruption.”

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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.

Usually, there are almost five 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.

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