Published on : Thursday, May 26, 2016
People across Essex, Havering, Southend and Thurrock are being invited to a series of consultation events to see Network Rail’s initial plans to potentially close or change the use of 61 level crossings across the region by altering the public Rights of Way network.
Six consultation events will be held in Witham, Colchester, Saffron Walden, Upminster, Harlow and Wickford.This is part of a wider Anglia consultation across the region, which has identified around 130 crossings that could be closed or modified. Closing level crossings and diverting to alternatives will make the railway safer by removing the point where people can come into contact with trains. The closures will also help improve reliability and enable separate, potential future developments for faster and more frequent services. None of the crossings in this proposal involve closing public A or B roads.
The crossings identified for potential closure include those where:
there are private rights only
where pedestrians/cyclists/horse riders can easily be diverted to where a nearby alternative exists or
where a new public route to a nearby alternative can be provided
where a crossing could be changed to be used by pedestrians/cyclists/horse riders only
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “I’d encourage anyone interested to come along see our initial plans, ask our level crossings team questions and share any concerns or ideas with us. We know that public Rights of Way are an important part of country life in this region, and where possible, we will maintain this connectivity with the countryside, and in some cases will improve the Rights of Way network.
“Our plans to close level crossings propose small changes to how people cross the railway but the closures will help us reduce the risks that level crossings pose, improve safety and reliability of the railway for the future.”
Consultation sessions will take place across the region from next month, with further consultations taking place in late summer. The results of the consultation will feed into agreed plans that will then be put forward under Transport & Works Act Orders early next year. Closures, if agreed, will take place in 2018 and 2019.