Questions on crossing work

Oulton Broad North Train Station.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad North Train Station.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The long-term benefit of plans to reduce waiting times at a notorious level crossing has been questioned by a parish council chairman.

Brian Hunter believes growth in housing means benefits from the development of the Oulton Broad North level crossing, which began on February 8, may barely be noticed.

The chairman of Oulton Parish Council said: 'I think for a long time the Oulton Broad North railway crossing has been a thorn in the side for people travelling through Oulton Broad and anything that will lessen the waiting time is welcome.

'The improvements which are happening ought to bring some relief to the current problems, but the amount of traffic is increasing all the time.'

He alluded to the planned construction of 800 new homes at Woods Meadow, Oulton Broad, being a likely cause of a further increase in traffic and congestion.

Mr Hunter added: 'The new housing development will have an exit and entrance which will flow on to Gorleston Road. Therefore this will increase traffic in the future.

'For the time being the development will work, but whether the developments will be sustainable for the future I just do not know.'

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The Oulton Broad North level crossing has long been a bugbear for people in Lowestoft, with long queues caused when the barriers go down to let trains through on their way to Norwich or London.

Mr Hunter explained: 'I think that certainly the work of Peter Aldous, Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council should be applauded in getting the improvements started ahead of Network Rail's proposed schedule.'

Richard Schofield, Network Rail Route managing director for Anglia said: 'We have worked with the local community here to understand how we can improve the railway for passengers and residents, and now we are putting our plans into action.

'Making this change will greatly benefit all those who use the crossing.'

What do you think of the improvements being made to Oulton Broad North level crossing? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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