Calls to improve waiting times at Oulton Broad North level crossing

Richard Perkins, from the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Transport Board, Colin Law, leader of Waveney

Richard Perkins, from the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Transport Board, Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and James Reeder, from Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce at the Oulton Broad North level crossing. - Credit: Archant

Urgent action is being demanded to reduce traffic waiting times at a busy town centre level crossing.

Network Rail is planning to upgrade the signalling at Oulton Broad North railway station in Lowestoft in May 2016, which will cut the amount of time the safety barriers need to be down.

However, Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce says the congestion created by the level crossing is putting the future success of the local economy at risk.

Business leaders and Waveney MP Peter Aldous are calling for the work to be completed as soon as possible.

James Reeder, chairman of Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation had lobbied hard over recent years for the issue to be addressed.

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He added: 'It is causing congestion and gridlock and is literally a barrier to the economic growth and development we are seeing across the rest of the town.'

Richard Perkins, a member of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Transport Board, said: 'Where it is right that Network Rail will address this problem, a wait of over two years is simply not acceptable.'

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Mr Aldous intends to raise the issue with the minister for transport Stephen Hammond.

He said: 'This work will enable the operation of the level crossing at Oulton Broad North/the Normanston Drive roundabout to be improved so as to reduce the congestion and gridlock that occurs when the barriers are down. It is vital that this work takes place as soon as possible.'

A Network Rail spokesman said: 'On average, Oulton Broad level crossing sees two trains pass through an hour and barriers down for approximately three minutes per train; these times will increase during peak periods of travel. We appreciate it can be frustrating to wait for a train to pass; however, barriers are only down for as long as is necessary to comply with strict safety standards.'

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