Frinton gates 'cannot be touched yet'

WORK is scheduled to start today on replacing Frinton's famous railway gates - but locals fighting the move do not believe they will be taken down just yet.

Elliot Furniss

WORK is scheduled to start today on replacing Frinton's famous railway gates - but locals fighting the move do not believe they will be taken down just yet.

Many people in the town have been campaigning for the past two years against Network Rail's plans to remove the town's historic level crossing gates and replace them with a set of barriers operated from Colchester.

The new system would use CCTV cameras to help operators open and close the crossing as part of a £100million upgrade to the Colchester to Clacton line.


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However, it seems physical work will not be starting for some time at the crossing, which is regularly visited by Network Rail officials making reports and inspecting the site.

Many residents feel that not only would the move lead to a loss of identity for the genteel coastal resort, but would pose a safety risk to people using the access point - the busiest in and out of the town.

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Despite the best efforts of the network operator to convince them otherwise, the residents remain determined to fight the move all the way, but have said they will only do so within the law.

Campaigner David Foster said that even if engineers did turn up today they would not be able to touch the gates as they did not yet have permission to do so.

He said: “We could get an army of people turn up and we'd all stand there looking at each other.

“They haven't signed a level crossing order yet because they have got issues.

“We've had people say they want to chain themselves to the gates and other ideas, but we want to work with them (Network Rail).”

He said residents were open to working with Network Rail at finding an alternative solution to its proposals but would continue to put their case forward and campaign on the matter.

Last night, no-one from Network Rail was available to comment on when work would start on the site.

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