UK: Crossing closures challenged locally

10 Sep

As Network Rail considers how best to reduce level crossing numbers through to the regulator’s funding settlement expiring in 2019, they are rightly reviewing public vehicular crossings on a case by case and a line of route basis. Unsurprisingly, there is resistance to change, even if the inconvenience is inconsequential.

The proposal to close the Ashford Bowdler automatic half-barrier level crossing in the village of the same name, near Ludlow, and replace it with a road running along the east of the railway to an extant bridge over the railway is attracting opposition, including from the local MP who considers the proposal a waste of public money on the grounds that there has not been an accident. Given the significant improvement in the processes by which Network Rail manages risk arising at level crossings, it is unlikely to be a cavalier pie-in-the-sky proposal.

Similarly there is opposition to the proposed closure of a public footpath in Chandler’s Ford in Hampshire, even though a footbridge replacement is proposed and an alternative route is available. This crossing has a history of misuse, most recently by children. Surely, opposition to closure would evaporate if a child were killed. So, why wait for the fatality before eliminating the level crossing?

2 Responses to “UK: Crossing closures challenged locally”

  1. Andrew Fraser September 10, 2014 at 11:28 #

    Possibly because there are more really dangerous crossings, elsewhere, that ought to receive attention first.

  2. aidannelson September 10, 2014 at 13:21 #

    Yes, there may be. However, from what I’ve seen Network Rail is selective in terms of risk and impact on community when proposing closures.

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