Residents in Mellis give their views on Network Rail’s level crossing proposals

A train heads through Mellis on the Norwich to London line

A train heads through Mellis on the Norwich to London line

Residents to the north of the county will be writing to Network Rail to object to the closing of any of five crossings in one village along the Norwich-London Liverpool Street line.

At Thursday night’s Mellis Parish Council meeting, householders aired views on the embryonic plans to close the crossings.

Network Rail says some closures will be essential as part of a £476million programme to enable trains to run faster – up to 110mph – as part of the Norwich in 90 scheme.

The main crossing in the village is on Mellis Road, but there are also four other rail crossings.

Another road crossing is on Rectory Road, while the crossing at Cowpasture Lane is part of a footpath.

There is also a crossing for private use at Manor Farm, and a stile crossing from Mellis Common to Earlsford Road.

Suffolk County councillor Guy McGregor was also present at the meeting, saying he and other councillors would be protecting the interests of villagers.

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He added: “It’s very unlikely the county council would agree to the closure as a matter of principle.” Matthew Spence, the chairman of Mellis Parish Council, said it was “very unlikely” the crossing on Mellis Road would close, and if anything was to happen, it would be the upgrading of the crossing to a full barrier from a half barrier.

He added: “Closing any of these crossings would have a detrimental effect on the life of the village.”

Members of the parish council also planned to attend the Suffolk Crossings meeting in Stowmarket last night before writing a response to Network Rail ahead of the consultation deadline of February 3.