Matthew Hancock welcomes Network Rail’s improvement plan for Brandon level crossing

A train flashes past the new barriers at the level crossing on Bridge Street in Brandon. Photograph

A train flashes past the new barriers at the level crossing on Bridge Street in Brandon. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Network Rail has confirmed that changes will be made at a town centre level crossing in a bid to decrease its regular failures and reduce delays for motorists.

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock has welcomed the announcement by the railway operator that several actions will be taken to tackle problems at the crossing in High Street, Brandon.

Since a new sensor system was fitted in 2012, almost 100 failures have caused misery for motorists passing through the town.

At a meeting with Mr Hancock and residents in April, Network Rail's area director Helen Warnock said that improvements would be made to the LIDAR system before the end of 2016 to reduce the number of failures.

As part of this action plan, Brandon will be the first crossing of its kind to be fitted with upgraded obstacle technology, which works by scanning a crossing and checking it is clear of people and cars before allowing trains to pass through. This will be in place by the end of the year.


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There will also be increased ground maintenance to stop vegetation growth setting off a sensor close to the gate, and adjustable reflector brackets will be fitted to reduce the failure or radar during adverse weather.

Mr Hancock said he was glad to learn about the changes. 'I understand entirely the frustrations people have with the malfunctions and delays relating to the level crossing over a long period of time now, and I am pleased that their concerns and views are being acted upon.

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'Hopefully, these changes will mean an end to the problems with the Brandon level crossing, and we must keep Network Rail to their commitments.'

What are your experiences with the level crossing in Brandon? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk.

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