Network Rail has applied to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to close or modify 61 level crossings across Essex, Hertfordshire, Havering, Southend and Thurrock.
The company has been working to reduce the risk that level crossings pose and has developed proposals to manage the possible closure or change of use of around 130 level crossings in Anglia across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Havering, Hertfordshire, Southend and Thurrock.
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. Eight level crossings have been removed from the project:
- Church 1 near Marks Tey
- Frating Abbey in Great Bentley
- Josselyns and Lamarsh Kings Farm in the north west of Colchester
- Puddle Dock in Upminster
- Sadlers in Harlow
- Twyford Road in Bishops Stortford
- Creaksea Place 1 in Burnham on Crouch
Closing level crossings and diverting to alternatives will make the railway safer by removing the point where people can come into contact with trains. The closures will also help improve efficiency and reliability. The closures will facilitate potential future developments for faster and more frequent services.
The crossings identified for potential closure include those where:
- there are private rights only
- people can easily be diverted to where a nearby alternative exists
- a new public route to a nearby alternative can be provided
The proposal also looks to downgrade level crossings to non-motorised users. None of the crossings in this proposal involve closing public A or B roads.
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. 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.