Needham Market: Chance to examine railway crossing proposals for Gypsy Lane

Proposals for the Gypsy Lane rail crossing in Needham Market have been put forward

Proposals for the Gypsy Lane rail crossing in Needham Market have been put forward - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

People will have the chance to examine proposals to improve safety for pedestrians when crossing a railway line.

Network Rail has called a public meeting to present proposals to close the existing Gipsy Lane level crossing in Needham Market.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has recommended the crossing for closure since July last year after a fatal accident when a pedestrian was struck by a train in 2011.

Earlier in the year proposals to shut Gipsy Lane and create an underpass at the temporarily-closed Willow Walk crossing were put forward.

But now, town clerk for Needham Market Town Council, Kevin Hunter, believes Network Rail is looking to introduce an overpass at the Gipsy Lane crossing.

“The footbridge over Gipsy Lane would address the issues the public has about the access to Footpath Six (Willow Walk crossing),” he said.

“It should be more positive and the Gipsy Lane crossing is the most popular spot to cross. We are hoping that this is the way forward. The only issue we can see is access for people with mobility issues and the maintenance of it.”

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Network Rail has been working with Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for rights of way, to close Gipsy Lane.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Network Rail, working with Suffolk County Council, has been looking into a number of options to allow for the permanent closure of Gipsy Lane level crossing and a level crossing at the northern end of Needham Market.

“At the public meeting we will present our proposals and invite local people to come along and find out more about our plans.”

The meeting will take place in Needham Market Community Centre, on Wednesday, at 6.30pm.