Network Rail proposes to close 115 level crossings in East Anglia. The proposals originally included 130 crossings, but thanks to objections from Ramblers members and other local residents, 15 have been removed from the closure programme.
Network Rail argues that closures are needed for safety reasons, but we know that diverting pedestrians onto busy roads means they must face the dangers of fast traffic.
In February, Vanessa Griffiths, our chief executive, met with Richard Schofield, the Route Managing Director with Anglia Region and raised concerns about this programme and the way in which the consultation has been carried out.
It’s likely that in the long-term, Network Rail will seek to close more crossings across the country. Therefore it’s essential that we form a constructive relationship with them, so that we are informed of upcoming closures and can work together to ensure that any diversions are safe and suitable for walkers.
Specifically, we will:
Ensure that Network Rail is giving appropriate consideration to the provision of safety additional measures, as an alternative to crossing closures.
Identify the crossing closures which will have the most disruptive and negative impact on walking and object to these, with a view to stopping or amending for a more favourable outcome.
Ensure that suitable alternative routes are provided where crossings are closed.
Develop a co-operative relationship with NWR going forward, so that they consider us to be a partner and listen to our opinions/objections.
Lobby for Network Rail to adopt the Rights of Way Review Committee consultation code of practice for all future proposals to close or divert public rights of way which cross level crossings.
Read more on our level crossings policy.
How we’re protecting our rights of way network
We received the Transport and Works Act Orders (the official notification of the closures in East Anglia) at the end of March and are working closely with local volunteers to object to crossing closure proposals that are unsuitable.
If any highway authorities formally object to some of the closures, public inquiries will then take place before the Secretary of State for Transport has the final say on the orders. The final decision on the closures is expected in autumn 2018.
We need your help
If you live in East Anglia and will be affected by these closures, we want to hear from you. Will closing a crossing affect your walk to work? Are there local businesses which will suffer from reduced footfall? Will it mean a long detour for children on their way to and from school?
We understand that Network Rail is planning to roll out this programme across the country. We'd also like to hear from you if you live elsewhere but have heard about planned closures of level crossings in your region.
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