Traffic delays after tractor hits barrier

DRIVERS on the Essex/Suffolk border faced delays last night after a tractor knocked down a barrier as it crossed over a railway line.

DRIVERS on the Essex/Suffolk border faced rush-hour delays yesterday evening after a tractor knocked down a barrier as it crossed over a railway line.

The incident took place at about 5.50pm at the overground crossing of the A137 at Manningtree and left the road closed in both directions temporarily.

Nobody was injured and the tractor was the only vehicle involved.

A diversion for was put in place for wide or high vehicles while the barrier was repaired but the underpass section of the crossing remained open to traffic.

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Train services using the route experienced delays of up to 15 minutes due the repair work but no services were cancelled.

The route was back open again by about 8pm but rail passengers faced further delays of up to 40 minutes after a train broke down near Manningtree Station.

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Last night Derek Monnery, vice-chairman of the Manningtree Rail Users’ Association, said the crossing was “very unsatisfactory” but it would take millions of pounds to resolve.

He said: “It’s a very unsatisfactory crossing. It was built in the Victorian times, I think, and the trouble is to do anything (to make it less problematic) that will work, you would have to spend millions of pounds.

“It needs completely new road built to bypass the crossing. Nobody will dig their hands in their pockets to fund it.”

Mr Monnery, who is also chairman of the Essex Rail Users’ Federation, said the crossing was a “bottle neck”, adding: “Any problem there can seize up the roads and the trains as well.”

<n> The East Anglian Air Ambulance was called out yesterday morning to assist a man who had been injured in a crash involving a car and a lorry.

The accident took place on the A1444 at Halesworth at 8.30am and the air ambulance landed in a nearby field. The 46-year-old driver of the car was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and his conditions was described as “stable”.

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