UK: WSP appointed for crossing elimination feasibility study

15 Apr

Consultant WSP has been appointed by Network Rail to undertake a feasibility study to consider potential options for closing level crossings on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) railway between London and Peterborough.

The closure of level crossings on the ECML is part of Network Rail’s on-going commitment to deliver a safer, more efficient and reliable railway and improve connectivity within local communities. WSP will identify feasible solutions for closing the crossings, undertaking the environmental impact assessments, preparing initial scheme option designs for the proposals and carrying out all consultation with the local community.

Working with Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and Central Bedfordshire Council, WSP will run a programme of public consultations to enable local residents to help shape the potential solutions as well as gain insight into local needs and existing travel behaviour.

Head of rail systems at WSP Chris Lawrence said: “This is a very important programmes of works that has the potential to significantly and permanently improve operations of not just the railway, but the highways too. Delays at levels crossings cause inconvenience for highway users, which has a tangible economic cost, so removing crossings can help improve the local economy by reducing delays and promoting safer travel.

“The challenge for us is to find alternative solutions that adequately respond to the local needs while also taking account of the surroundings, landscape, environment and property impacts so that the railways and roads continue to operate smoothly.”

Phil Verster, route managing director for Network Rail commented: “Level crossings are a hangover from the past; they cause delays to trains, pedestrians and road users and are expensive to maintain and renew. We have taken steps to close many crossings across the network and are continually looking at ways to improve safety and reliability. We are working collaboratively with local authorities to explore options for closing crossings between London and Doncaster. Consultation will be carried out with interested stakeholders so we can find solutions that benefit the railway and local communities.”

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