No road crossing closures in rail safety drive – rail bosses

A train heads through Mellis on the Norwich to London line

A train heads through Mellis on the Norwich to London line

As the campaign against level crossing closures in Suffolk gathers momentum, Network Rail (NR) has produced new figures showing no public road crossings have been shut in the last five years.

And the state-owned company insists there is no “hit-list” of crossings set for closure as part of the “Norwich in 90” campaign aimed at speeding services between London and East Anglia.

Rail campaigners have warned that two crossings in Stowmarket and one at Mellis are set to be closed by Network Rail – forcing residents into long diversions.

However a NR spokeswoman said crossings were only closed if viable alternative routes existed and the closure would not cause problems.

Between 2009 and 2014, NR closed 800 level crossings, including 110 in East Anglia. All were footpaths or private farm crossings. None were shut on public roads.

The spokeswoman said: “At the moment, no decisions have been made on what level crossings will be affected, and in what way.

“The project is very much in the early stages, and we don’t expect to have a clear idea of which crossings will be impacted for another six months or so.

“Over the coming months, we will start looking at the level crossings in Anglia between London and Norwich to identify where changes may be made so that we can achieve a reduction in journey times and improve safety across the whole rail network in the east of England, including around Stowmarket.

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“We understand that some members of the public may be concerned.

“However, each crossing is assessed on a case by case basis and consultation will be undertaken with local residents.”

Mike Carter, from the Suffolk Crossings Group, said he had been told NR was hoping to close every crossing between Norwich and London.

He said: “There certainly is a list of crossings that they want to shut – we have seen that. Network Rail tried to shut the two crossings in Stowmarket 10 years ago and we know they want to try that again.

“We need to be ready to fight any closure proposals.”

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