Villager voices concerns over temporary railway crossing closure at Antingham Hill

Antingham Hill level crossing gates have been padlocked for four months. Waiting for it to open, Jam

Antingham Hill level crossing gates have been padlocked for four months. Waiting for it to open, James and Katherine Tulley with their children Bertie, 11 and Harry, 9, their friend James Quilter, 11 and neighbour Bridget Bailey who lives across the line. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A villager has raised concerns about the amount of time a rural railway crossing has been shut because of safety improvements.

Katherine Tulley, 45, from Antingham Hill, Antingham, near North Walsham, discovered gates to the unmanned crossing on the North Walsham to Cromer line locked after returning from holiday in April.

The crossing is not used by vehicles but is popular with villagers, walkers, cyclists, horse riders and dog walkers.

Mrs Tulley said: 'I'm in favour of aesthetic and safety improvements, but why it has been temporarily closed for four months?'

She added that wires had been cut so people could get over the crossing, cyclists were jumping over the gates which was more dangerous, and the closure prevented her two boys from cycling in the countryside as the only other route was over the busy A149.

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A Network Railway spokesman said: 'We've closed the level crossing at Antingham Hill for safety reasons. There are some concrete posts restricting visibility down the railway, meaning pedestrians might not see an approaching train. We will remove these posts towards the end of the summer and have to close the crossing in the meantime.'

Mrs Tulley added: 'Normally trains are audible and often they hoot as well. If you stand at the gate and position yourself at the posts they will obliterate your view, but a sensible person would move their head a few centimetres to get a good view of the track. As far as local residents are concerned it doesn't seem to be perceived as a safety issue.'

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