Great Barton/Thurston: Network Rail plans to replace level crossing with footbridge

Great Barton Level Crossing

Great Barton Level Crossing - Credit: Contributed

A level crossing near Bury St Edmunds is planned to be replaced with a footbridge to improve safety.

Network Rail, which is responsible for the UK’s railway network, has applied to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for permission to carry out the works at the Great Barton level crossing.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “Network Rail is looking at the feasibility of constructing a ramped bridleway bridge to eventually replace Great Barton level crossing.

“Following the approval of submitted proposals, the aim is to begin work on site in the New Year.

“The aspiration to close this crossing is part of Network Rail’s ongoing investment programme to improve level crossing safety. Over 700 level crossings across Britain have been closed since 2009 as part of this programme, including over 100 in Anglia.”

She said the crossing had been selected for closure primarily because of frequency of use - it is a busy line that runs services from Peterborough, Cambridge and Ipswich - and because it is on a cycle route often used by tourists.

There was also a reported near miss with a pedestrian last year.

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A planning statement submitted with the application said: “The current level of risk at this level crossing is deemed unsatisfactory for Network Rail to maintain a safe railway.

“Therefore the decision has been made to replace the crossing with a footbridge and additional fencing, to reduce this risk whilst maintaining the current pedestrian access.”

The crossing is between Bury to the west and Thurston to the east.

The track that leads to the crossings from the north runs off from Heath Road, Thurston, and continues south and leads onto Mount Road near Battlies Green.