Halesworth rail crossing could still be closed – unless it is used safely
- Credit: Archant
Work will be carried out next week to install gates at a station crossing on the east Suffolk rail line after campaigners fought off moves to close it.
But rail bosses still believe the barrow crossing at Halesworth is dangerous – and people are being warned to use it carefully or it could be shut in future.
Suffolk Coastal MP Thérèse Coffey was delighted Network Rail had decided to install the gates.
She said: 'It is good news. Network Rail is clear though that if people continue to cross unsafely, then there is a risk that the crossing will have to close in the future.
'I hope the installation of these gates will help change behaviour so passengers will still be able to enjoy a safe and convenient passage to the other side of the station.'
Network Rail wanted to close the crossing completely owing to 'significant safety concerns'.
It said there had been instances of people walking off the platform onto the tracks and crossing when trains are in the station, which can block people's view of the track, and even people attempting to cross when trains are approaching the crossing.
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Work on the gates will start on January 23 and they will be put in place at the end of the platform to act as a barrier between pedestrians and the railway, and provide a timely reminder to people to stop, look and listen for trains before they cross.
Network Rail said a sign will be attached to the gates with advice about how to use the crossing safely.
This will advise people to only use the crossing if they are a station user as it is not a public right of way; cross only if there are no trains at either platform and check no trains are approaching; and to get off bikes before crossing.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said: 'I have significant concerns about safety at this crossing, and urge those who use it to make sure that they do so safely by not crossing when trains are in the station and checking that no trains are approaching before they cross.
'We listened to people who use this crossing regularly and agreed that putting a physical barrier in place should increase safety, but we will continue to monitor the situation. We are committed to improving safety at level crossings as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.'
Network Rail will to monitor the crossing and review the situation later in the year.