Monday 25 Jul 2016
Residents invited to learn about proposals for Eastleigh level crossing
Network Rail is inviting residents to a drop-in session to find out more about proposals to close and replace Chandler’s Ford level crossing in Eastleigh with a stepped footbridge as part of the organisation’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and businesses.
The drop-in session will take place between 12pm and 4pm on Saturday, 6 August at the Ritchie Memorial Hall in Chandler’s Ford, and members of the Network Rail team will be on hand to answer questions and update the community on the proposed changes.
Alex Boatfield, Network Rail’s assistant commercial scheme sponsor said, “Chandler’s Ford is a high risk level crossing that has witnessed three incidents of misuse in the last year alone, one of which involved two young girls, and there is evidence of deliberate misuse and user error. When you combine this with the sheer number of trains that pass through each day, as well as the speed at which they travel, it really makes us concerned for the safety of the pedestrians using the crossing.
“Of course, we recognise the importance of the link between Chandler's Ford and Valley Park which is why we’re planning to ensure that a facility to cross the railway line remains at the site of the current crossing. We have developed proposals to replace the level crossing with a stepped footbridge, which has already been amended further to earlier feedback from residents. The new design now incorporates additional screening to ensure privacy for local residents as well as lighting to assist users in navigating the bridge and footpath safely.
“We believe the new footbridge offers the safest option for local people to cross the railway and a stepped footbridge maintains current levels of accessibility at this location as the existing crossing has stepped access with stiles. We’re looking forward to sharing our proposals with the community in greater detail and answering any questions they may have."
Every time a footpath or a road meets the railway, there is a risk and it is Network Rail’s aim to reduce this as much as possible. Network Rail has closed nearly 1,000 level crossings in the last five years and we know the safest level crossing is a closed one.
As part of this project, Network Rail consulted Hampshire County Council, Eastleigh Borough Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Valley Park Parish Council, Chandler’s Ford Parish Council, and the Eastleigh Ramblers to establish the best alternative for the current level crossing.
For further information about the project, residents can contact Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.
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.