Tuesday 14 Jan 2003

SADDLEWORTH FOOTPATH TO BE REOPENED

Route:
A popular Saddleworth footpath in the Oldham area is soon to be reopened now that Network Rail North West has successfully completed the installation of a new footbridge. The £645,000 project to improve safety at the foot crossing, involved removing the walkway at track level and replacing it with a new footbridge. Now the new crossing has been installed the footpath over the railway is due to be reopened to the public in early February. The location is known locally as Butterhouse Lane crossing, and it takes a ramblers’ route above Dobcross over the trans-Pennine rail route. It’s also where a rambler was tragically killed in December 2001.  As a result of the accident, a temporary 30mph speed restriction was imposed over the crossing to give pedestrians longer to get clear of an approaching train. However, that situation could not continue indefinitely and the only safe option was to close the crossing and put a footbridge in its place. A spokesman for Network Rail said: “It is our responsibility to run a safe, reliable railway and fortunately accidents on this type of crossing are very rare. Even so, we need to ensure the safety of pedestrians using this crossing and the only way we could that was to ‘convert’ it to a footbridge.”

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