Potential closure of level crossings threatens local communities

Network Rail have released a consultation on their plans for 2019 to 2024 – the Anglia Route Study www.networkrail.co.uk/long-term-planning-process/anglia-area-route-study-draft-for-consultation.pdf The consultation ends on 3rd February 2015 and responses should be sent to AngliaRouteStudy@networkrail.co.uk

Prior to the timeframe this Study covers, a number of schemes are expected to be delivered including “safety improvements, particularly involving level crossings” (including closing 500 more level crossings across the country). Within the Study itself the key project affecting us is “Norwich in Ninety”. This project aims to cut journey times between Norwich and London to 90 minutes where they are currently between 104 and 115 minutes. The fear, locally, is that Network Rail will use this opportunity to save money by closing lots of level crossings whether road or footpath.

Closure of any crossings will have a devastating impact locally – villages cut off from each other (how to travel from Haughley to Old Newton for example); footpaths closed with access to the countryside completely limited; not to mention the damage to local businesses and general community cohesion.

Network Rail is not intending to confirm which crossings will be affected until after the consultation. If we don’t make our voices heard now – we may be too late. Please respond to the consultation and write to your MP.

For information on a local group set up to combat this, please see www.suffolkcrossings.co.uk

 

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