Residents in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire, will soon benefit from a safer railway crossing as Network Rail prepares to replace the current level crossing with a new footbridge.
Work will begin on 17 October, with the new footbridge due to open in February 2017. During this time Network Rail will be fencing off the existing level crossing and installing a new footbridge with even, non-slip surfaces and lighting built into the handrails.
Stewart Firth, Network Rail’s principal sponsor for investment said, “Level crossings remain the most dangerous aspect of the railway in this country, and as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we’re spending £100 million to make them safer for users up and down the country.
“Chandler’s Ford in particular is a high-risk level crossing that has witnessed three incidents in the last year alone, one of which involved two young girls, and there is evidence of deliberate misuse. 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.
“By replacing this level crossing with a footbridge we can ultimately eliminate any safety risk. I’d like to thank the local community for their patience while we carry out our upgrades, and if anyone has any questions or concerns during the works, they can call our 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.”
During the work, the crossing will close and there will be a pedestrian diversion signposted. Engineers will also need to close a short section of Sutherlands Way, with a short road diversion in place via Hursley Road and South Millers Dale.
Network Rail has closed over 1,000 level crossings in the last five years as part of its safety programme.
As part of the project at Chandler’s Ford, 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. The final design was amended following feedback from residents and will now include additional screening to ensure privacy for residents as well as lighting to assist users in navigating the bridge and footpath safely.
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.