Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Needham Market: Residents fears over proposals for crossing which was scene of rail death

06:00 22 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 group of residents claim they are not being listened to as proposals to build a footbridge over a busy railway line face criticism.

shares

About 15 people went to have their voices heard at a Needham Market Town Council meeting over concerns Network Rail has carried out an “inadequate” consultation on the proposals at the Gipsy Lane level crossing in the town.

An 82-year-old woman died when she was walking across the tracks at the crossing in August 2011.

Network Rail said it recognised the “local debate” about the footbridge but added that it would continue to work closely with the planning authority, Mid Suffolk District Council.

During the town council meeting on Wednesday night, a man referred to as Dr Flowers, said he was speaking on behalf of a number of his neighbours who live close to the “high risk” crossing.

He said: “The footbridge would be a burden to aged and infirm dog walkers. Most of them could not face going up the 36 steps and down the 36 steps.

“It would a terrible blot, not just on Gypsy Lane but on the Gipping Valley itself.

“We feel that Network Rail have failed to take the other options seriously.

“We have not been adequately consulted with.

“There was a public meeting on November 13, it was a bit of a charade; the spokesman was not there, his deputy was, but the Powerpoint presentation was not there.

“It was fairly obvious that they had made up their minds already.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said it was “committed” to closing the crossing and providing an alternative route over the railway.

She said: “We are currently pursuing plans to construct a stepped footbridge at the crossing and divert the rights of way, currently passing over the crossing to the new bridge.

“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.”

Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for rights of way, said it wants to see an “accessible” railway crossing and would pursue an option to build an underpass which has been considered in the past.

The county council and Network Rail are due to meet later this month to discuss the crossing.

shares

3 comments

  • The silly solution would be a ramped footbridge at enormous expense relative to the number of users but would tick all the right boxes on an EU grant form applying for taxpayers' money. The obvious solution is to avoid walking across railways if you have significantly impaired mobility or perception. (PS what does "underfire" mean outside boiler technology?)

    Report this comment

    Roy Everett

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

  • Only 15 people turned up for the meeting out of how many living around the crossing , Network . Rail shut the crossing then put up a bridge that will shut up those who say it's unsafe ,it's was only unsafe because people did not use it right, look both ways before crossing ,listen if you hear a train don't cross ,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

  • What other options do the locals want considered? A footbridge would appear to be the quickest and no doubt cheapest option. To excavate under the line would be costly and surely mean the closure of the main line at some stage? As Pandy says, look, listen and cross quickly. With the speed of the trains on this line, anyone with poor sight, hearing or mobility is putting themselves at risk using this crossing as it is.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

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

St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils have been urged to fine irresponsible dog owners for not picking up after their pets

St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils have been criticised after it was revealed neither has issued a fine for dog fouling over the last three years.

Gemma Edgar was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. She has undergone treatment and is now raising awareness and money for brain tumour research. Gemma is pictured at home in Colchester with her husband, Rob, and sons Dylan (3) and Noah (9 months).

Gemma Edgar will begin drawing a pension aged just 29 after being forced into retirement from ill health.

Colourful houses on Aldeburgh seafront, Suffolk

One of Suffolk’s most famous resorts was the third best-performing coastal town for house prices in Britain last year, a survey has shown.

Abellio Greater Anglia train.

Abellio Greater Anglia has attracted more negative Tweets than any other rail service provider on routes to London, according to latest statistics.

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.

The sign nailed to a bench in Hadleigh aimed at Brian Riley, who has moved to the US but is continuing as a Suffolk County Councillor

An attempt at making an amusing political statement has left a lasting mark – but not a welcome one.

Lloyd Thornton was jailed for 42 months for sex offences. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

The former hotel manager from west Suffolk has been jailed for 42 months for groping four young women after making inappropriate sexual comments to them.

The man was in a four-man rowing boat on a round-the-UK trip when he fell ill around six miles off Brightlingsea in Essex at around 2.40am on Sunday.

A man suffering from seasickness was in hospital over the weekend after being rescued by coastguards.

Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich.
Cornard Dynamos v Beccles.

Football fanatics from across Suffolk kitted-up for one of the biggest youth sporting events in the county, as they took part in the Suffolk FA Grassroots Festival.

An architects impression of the proposed new look for Ipswich Cornhill

Redevelopment hopes for Ipswich Cornhill have received a major shot in the arm after Suffolk County Council’s new spokesman for the town pledged to match the borough’s £800,000 investment.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages