Disruption fears after Network Rail announces list of possible level crossing closures in Cambridgeshire

Many level crossings in East Anglia could close over the next few years. Picture: Ian Burt

Many level crossings in East Anglia could close over the next few years. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

An MP has raised the prospect of 'significant local disruption' if Network Rail presses ahead with planned closures of level crossings, as part of a railway reform across East Anglia.

The rail authority today publicly announced the crossings it wants to close in Cambridgeshire, with a list of crossings under threat in Suffolk set to be revealed shortly.

They are part of 130 crossings identified for potential closure across East Anglia (exluding Norfolk) so far.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, said: 'I think constituents will be interested in these closure plans which could cause significant local disruption.'

It is believed Network Rail, which oversees 779 level crossings across East Anglia, will announce a list of potential closures to level crossings in Norfolk at a later stage.

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Mr Barclay has written to ask for usage figures for the crossings under threat in his constituency.

These are: Brickyard Drove, Whittlesey; Eastrea Cross Drove, Eastrea; Furlong Drove, Little Downham; Middle Drove, March; Silt Drove, March; Black Horse Drove, Littleport; Clayway, Littleport; Coffue Drove, Little Downham; Littleport Station; Poplar Drove, Littleport; Willow Row/Willow Road, Littleport.

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Three public meetings in March, Ely, and Cambridge will be held during the consultation.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who chairs the Norwich in 90 taskforce, said: 'I have worked hard for a a faster and more reliable rail service between Norwich and London and it's possible that more efficient crossing points can also help secure a better service for passengers. Everyone's first priority is a safe railway and I think it's sensible that Network Rail is reviewing level crossings for that reason.'

In his letter to Mr Barclay, Richard Schofield, route managing director for Network Rail, said crossings identified for closure could be downgraded to pedestrian crossings while users could also be diverted to alternative crossings.

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