Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

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

Archant

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

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Ipswich Hospital has bought the old Bridge School site for development.

Ipswich Hospital’s redevelopment plans have received a major boost after it bought the site of the former Bridge School on Heath Road.

Freston Tower

Dendrochronology is the scientific art of dating timber by comparing the patterns in the end grain of a sample from the building in question with the known growth of typical trees at the time, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Tracy Root with Ruff and Tumble... or Tumble and Ruff. 'I definitely love cats as much as dogs, but I think dogs give you more back than a cat'

The BBC has set the cat among the pigeons with the launch of a short series with a provocative title – Cats v Dogs: Which is Best?

Sleeping Giants episode four

The Sleeping Giants are back with a packed episode four, discussing the best goal ever scored, comebacks which should never have happened and the FA Vase.

Visitors got to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch at the Flatford RSPB over the weekend.
Amy and Julia Hill.

Our photographers travel across Suffolk and north Essex, recording the events of the week.

Mouth cancer survivor Sam Fordham with husband Neil and five-year-old daughter Molly

A woman who beat mouth cancer has said it is vital people who think they have symptoms of any form of the disease gets them checked out early.

QD Stores logo

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a disturbance at an Ipswich branch of QD.

Pupils at Farlingaye High, Woodbridge, prepare their presentations as part of the Most Able Student Day at the school.

Gifted pupils gathered for the latest in a series of events aimed at helping them realise their early academic promise.

Charity evening on the ice at Winter Wondeland in Colchester

Suppliers, small businesses and individuals have “little chance” of getting any of the quarter of a million pounds they are owed from the collapse of Colchester’s outdoor ice rink.

Police close road (file picture)

Saddlemakers Lane in Melton has reopened in both directions.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24