Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Needham Market: Concern over disabled access to fatal rail crossing

12:30 27 March 2014

Network Rail wants to close the rail crossing Gypsy Lane in Needham Market but its plans have come underfire

Network Rail wants to close the rail crossing Gypsy Lane in Needham Market but its plans have come underfire

Archant

A disabled charity has criticised proposals to build a footbridge over a railway line as it will create “far-reaching” problems for the community.

shares

The Suffolk Coalition of Disabled People has called on Network Rail to rethink proposals to erect a footbridge at Gypsy Lane, Needham Market.

Proposals to create a new
crossing were created after an 82-year-old woman died on the rail line in 2011.

But the charity claims disabled people will struggle to get across as the footbridge would feature more than 70 steps.

Network Rail said it is working closely with the planning authority, Mid Suffolk District Council, over the plans.

Bonnie Collins, disability development officer for the charity, said: “It is not only disabled people who would have a problem but mothers with young children and to be honest older people may struggle to climb these steps.

“It would affect a cross-section of the community – it would be far-reaching.

“The footbridge is the completely wrong thing to go with. I think the tunnel option should be chosen, that’s what Suffolk County Council recommended.”

Another option Network Rail has considered is whether to build an underpass crossing beneath the rail line for pedestrians.

The county council said it is “fully committed” to persuading the rail body to reassess the underpass option.

A council spokesman said: “Responsibility for installing a rail crossing sits with Network Rail.

“Suffolk County Council wants to retain an accessible railway crossing in the vicinity of the two existing footpath crossings and is fully committed to persuading Network Rail to reassess the underpass options.

“We will be meeting Network Rail later this month, prior to any final decision being taken.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to closing Gypsy Lane level crossing in Needham Market permanently and provide an alternative route over the railway.

“We recognise that there has been much debate locally about the footbridge, so we continue to work closely with the local planning authority.

“Furthermore, we plan to announce the work programme later in the spring. Again, we would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding on this issue.”

A group of residents voiced their concerns over the crossing at a town council meeting last week.

They feel there has not been an adequate consultation over the proposals.

shares

2 comments

  • Come on Archant. What on earth is the connection between the Needham Market railway crossing photo and heading got to do with EACH opening 4 shops?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • That's better ! How many other on line readers spotted it before the moderator read my comment.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Mark Bee, foreground with Bill Murphy from BT and Waveney MP Peter Aldous at one of the upgraded broadband boxes.

Moves to improve infrastructure in the north of Suffolk have been given a boost with the appointment of former county council leader Mark Bee to a major new role.

Former EADT Ken Rice.

Former EADT and Evening Star editor Ken Rice has died at the age of 73.

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright arriving for the 2015 Brit Awards at the O2 Arena. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Excited crowds gathered in Bury St Edmunds today for what is being hailed the celebrity wedding of the year between Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan.

Paul Nixon has organised the Bergholt Bomb Along bike ride in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.

Hundreds of fundraisers took part in a second-annual charity bike ride raising cash for the Alzheimer’s Society today.

A 100-year-old woman who visited her childhood home she was born and grew up in has described the “unbelievable” experience.

Rosehill library in Ipswich is celebrating it's 110th birthday.Ipswich Mayor Glen Chisholm cuts the cake.

A library which has been the hub of the community in east Ipswich has today celebrated its 110th birthday.

Police are appealing for information after Townrow department store in Braintree was burgled.

Clothing has been stolen from Townrow department store in Braintree High Street this morning.

A necklace stolen during a burglary in Spirng Road, Colchester, between 12.30pm and 7.40pm on Tuesday, April 21.

Jewellery has been stolen from a house in Spring Road, Colchester.

Vintage car rally and wine tasting at Dedham Vale Vineyard Wines. Stacey Nunn and Tom Bunting.

The second classic car rally the vineyard has organised saw vintage Mustangs, Minis and Bentleys go on display.

The Whitsun Fayre in Bury St Edmunds town centre. Sebastian Shepherd (7)(left) and Finian Shepherd (3) playing on the beach in the Traverse.

Families have been enjoying a wealth of free activities in Bury St Edmunds this weekend as part of the annual Whitsun Fayre.

Most read

Topic pages