Network Rail reverses decision to close barrow crossing at Halesworth Station

The Halesworth station barrow crossing. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Halesworth station barrow crossing. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Network Rail has today announced that it will be installing extra safety measures at Halesworth railway station rather than closing its barrow crossing.

The operator had planned to close the crossing on safety grounds, but following public meetings and discussions with local councillors and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, it will remain open for the time being.

Instead, Network Rail will install gates with extra safety warnings at the approaches to the crossing, warning cyclists to dismount and giving instructions to wait until a train has cleared the platform before crossing safely.

However, the operator warned if people misuse the crossing, they will reconsider closing it.

Network Rail route managing director Richard Schofield said: 'Our aim is to improve safety for those using what is the riskiest barrow crossing in East Anglia.

'We've decided to take an interim step and install additional signage and gates, which we hope will remind everyone how to use the crossing safely.

'If we see through our censuses this autumn a significant change where people are not taking unnecessary risks, then the crossing can remain open.

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'If people continue to take these risks, then closing the crossing and improving the alternative path will be the best way to improve safety at Halesworth station.'

The new gates and signs will be installed in the autumn and Network Rail will carry out two nine-day surveys after the installation to see if people use the crossing more safely.