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Plans to close 24 Suffolk level crossings

Map showing the approximate locations of the crossings Network Rail plans to close'Background picture: Google Earth
Map showing the approximate locations of the crossings Network Rail plans to close'Background picture: Google Earth

Network Rail has applied for a legal order to close 24 level crossings in Suffolk as part of a plan to make railways safer.

None of the crossings are on A or B roads and some do not even have tracks leading to them.

Public consultation events took place across the county in June, September and December 2016. Following analysis of all the responses from the public and other stakeholders, many plans have been adapted.

Seven crossings have been removed from the project including one at Haughley Green, between Elmswell and Haughley, because Network Rail was ‘ unable to resolve issues presented by the diversionary route’.

Network Rail says the closures will improve safety and help improve efficiency and reliability as well as facilitating potential future developments for faster and more frequent services.

The crossings the crossings closing have private access rights only or are where public access routes can be diverted or a new route created.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have carried out a comprehensive programme of consultation to fully understand the impact of our proposals and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed.

“As intended, the feedback we received has informed our final proposals, and we await the decision of the Secretary of State [for Transport].

“We understand that public rights of way are an important part of life in this region, and have maintained connectivity where possible in our plans. We are committed to improving safety and efficiency at level crossings as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”

Closures, if agreed, will take place from late 2018. Network Rail will also continue to modify or close its highest risk crossings as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.

Among the Suffolk crossings affected are: Weatherby, off Willow Crescent, Newmarket; Higham; Higham Ground Frame; Cattishall on the eastern edge of Bury St Edmunds; Barrels and Grove Farm east of Thurston; Stacpool between Needham Market and Finningham; Leggetts, Gooderhams and Fords Green between Haughley and Bacton; near Cedar Close in Bacton; Hawk End Lane in Elmswell; Lords No29 east of Elmswell; Mutton Hall north of Wetherden.

The full list is at www.networkrail.co.uk/anglialevelcrossings

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