Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


Needham Market: Petition calls for change to Network Rail’s Gypsy Lane crossing proposal

14:15 03 September 2014

Network Rail is looking at options for the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market

Network Rail is looking at options for the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market


Public dismay over the way Network Rail is handing proposals to improve safety at a dangerous crossing has reached new levels.


Around 500 people have signed a petition which only started last week calling for an underpass to be built at the Gipsy Lane crossing in Needham Market.

But that option is not favoured by Network Rail. Instead they want to erect a footbridge much to the annoyance of residents.

However, Network Rail said it is now “investigating the possibility” of an underpass.

Graham Oxenham, town councillor, said: “We are keeping the pressure on Network Rail as the bridge would be detrimental to the character of the rural area and detrimental to its existing users.

“The underpass is the more expensive option but I think Network Rail is balking at the cost. Although they said cost was not an issue at the first public meeting it’s now clearly a consideration with them pushing through the bridge idea.

“I think the main issue is that the crossing is at one end of the town and the next available crossing is in Hawks Mill Street which would cause major issues for access because people would have to run the gauntlet of the road.”

He said the crossing in Hawks Mill Street would be difficult for older residents and those with mobility problems to access because it is down a steep flight of steps.

The bridge proposal at Gipsy Lane would be for at total of 72 steps which has alarmed some residents.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said discussions with Suffolk County Council, which manages rights of way, were ongoing.

She said: “The surest way to improve safety at a level crossing is to close it. Where a road, footpath or cycle way meets the railway there will always be a certain level of risk to motorists or pedestrians.

“Network Rail is committed to reduce that risk as much as possible, and it is our intention to close Gipsy Lane level crossing and replace it with an alternative means of getting across the railway.

“A stepped footbridge is currently our preferred option at Gipsy Lane. However, we are working with Suffolk County Council, to further investigate the possibility of an underpass so long as it meets critical safety criteria and could be built within an appropriate timeframe.”

Mr Oxenham said the petition would eventually be handed to Network Rail’s chief executive.

In 2011 a woman died when she was hit by a train at Gipsy Lane.

Last month Network Rail was criticised for “excluding” Mid Suffolk District Council from its discussions.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

An online auction launched in memory of Ipswich Town and England legend Sir Bobby Robson has raised more than £160,000 for charity.

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

Some of the UCS Choir members who will be appearing on Songs of Praise on television

University Campus Suffolk’s new choir is to appear on BBC Songs of Praise

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage switches on the lights helped by Elise Gorski, Peggy Osborne, and Ash and Lila Tadjrishi.

It’s a problem faced by millions of families across the country every year.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

A woman reported missing to police on Saturday has been found safe and well following a public appeal.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24