Network Rail proposes to close 130 level crossings in East Anglia, 109 of which are part of Rights of Way. Network Rail argues that closures are needed for safety reasons, but diverting pedestrians onto busy roads means they must face the dangers of fast traffic. We understand that Network Rail is planning to roll out this programme across the country. We'd also like to hear from you if you live elsewhere but have heard about planned closures of level crossings in your region.
At our recent Area Committee meeting, the Area Footpath Secretary reported on two local level crossing closures (one near Worcester, one near Bromsgrove) with which he is involved on behalf of Ramblers. He pointed out that one closure can affect the viability of a number of paths (three in the case of the Worcester closure) – hence any closure can have a multiplied effect on our local path network.
Another member of the committee reported that he was aware of a proposed closure in the Malvern area - and there may well be others.
It is clear from these examples that the issue is by no means confined to East Anglia – although this appears to be the most severely affected area. In view of the above, the Worcestershire Area committee would request all Groups, and individual members to contact us if they become aware of level crossing closures, or notices of proposals to do so, in their locality. This may be while on walks, or through local notices. Please give location details and as much other information as you can. We can then pass this information on to our Area Footpath Secretary and to Ramblers Head Office to aid their campaign as requested.
Please note that we are only asking for information on closures, not for any personal judgement on the safety situation or other circumstances.
Please contact the Area Secretary directly with any information (email firstname.lastname@example.org ) or forward the details through your Group committee if you find this easier.
Our Area Footpath Secretary can then collate all such reports and coordinate any subsequent actions required.
There is more information about the level crossing issue, and the petition, on the Ramblers website at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/network-rail.aspx