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
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 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. 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.