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Railway Crossing under threat as Network Rail look at safety record at Chandler’s Ford Crossing

by Jackie Porter on 3 September, 2014

Vital Chandler’s Ford railway crossing under threat as Network Rail examine the Safety Record there.
‘Railway bridge links facilities to communities- so we will definitely need a bridge if this goes,’ Jackie says.

Jackie and Cllr Alan Broadhurst discuss the crossing on site. This footpath links communities and it's a good opportunity to upgrade the link.

Jackie and Cllr Alan Broadhurst discuss the crossing on site. This footpath links communities and it’s a good opportunity to upgrade the link.

It seems that the railway crossing in Chandler’s Ford poses a serious threat to the safety record of the public on the railways-and so Network Rail is considering closing the crossing at Sutherlands Way as part of a national rail safety programme. But like all these proposals- it has real knock on effects for the communities on either side of the railway.

This is an extract from an article which appeared in the Echo yesterday:

RAILWAY bosses want to close a level crossing over safety fears following a spate of problems – including children “playing chicken” on the tracks.They are looking into closing the footpath crossing over the railway at Chandler’s Ford alongside a number of others in Hampshire deemed as high risk.

Network Rail say that the site has a record of a number of ‘near misses’ – many involving children.They have evidence of missiles thrown and trespassing on the railway line. Local concerns have been echoed by train drivers, who have been forced into doing emergency stops on numerous occasions.This is part of a programme looking at rail safety: rail chiefs are working with South West Trains to look at closing 6 crossings in Hampshire in the next five years.

It appears that Network Rail are in discussion with Hampshire County Council about closing the crossing – Jackie and the Lib Dem team will make sure that this will involve a public consultation if it is proposed.

It’s a long way round-with a Doctor’s Surgery close by. So- what could be put there instead?

It is part of a national project working towards closing 500 crossings by 2019 at a cost of £99m, which will be replaced by diversions or bridges. Jackie adds,’In this case we will definitely need a bridge!’ One in Petersfield was replaced by a new footbridge last week. Others under consideration are Farnborough North; Derby Green, near Yateley; Buriton, near Petersfield and Dunbridge, near Romsey.

Sharon Vye-Parminter, safety and assurance director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, has been quoted: “Drivers have been reporting to us a significant number of near misses there,” she said. “We have a responsibility for everybody on the railway and we always try to work with the community to make sure that they are using our crossings responsibly, but ultimately removing the risk of anybody getting injured on our railways is our prime goal.”

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