Lengthy waits at barriers in village

BARRIERS at a village's busiest level crossing will be down 20 minutes every hour if freight trains using the line are doubled, it was revealed today.There have already been complaints about the length of time the barriers stay down sometimes at Trimley Station, but in future that could be increased to as long as eight minutes.

BARRIERS at a village's busiest level crossing will be down 20 minutes every hour if freight trains using the line are doubled, it was revealed today.

There have already been complaints about the length of time the barriers stay down sometimes at Trimley Station, but in future that could be increased to as long as eight minutes.

Sixty families and a small number of businesses will be affected, as well as people visiting the nature reserve on Trimley Marshes and using the countryside walks.

Documents submitted to government by Felixstowe port officials show the overall down-time could be 22 per cent of every day.

The problems will arise if the port gets permission for a £46.6 million project to dual four-and-a-half miles of the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line.

The double-track will begin at Trimley station, but the line to the port's northern terminals will still be single.

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It will mean a train will have to come from the port and pass the incoming freight train on the dualled stretch. There will be a passenger train to fit into the arrangements as well.

Because of the tight timetable, there will be no time to re-open the level crossing between trains.

In their report, port officials say there will be “an expected down-time of 20 minutes an hour” for the barriers in Station Road-Cordys Lane, crossed by 50 vehicles an hour at peak times.

The report said: “The additional down-time is likely to cause an adverse impact on journey time for those drivers waiting to continue their journey across the crossing.”

One main concern is access for emergency vehicles at the CCTV-monitored crossing. There is a telephone but extra phones will be installed both sides of the line to link with the signal box.

Trimley St Mary and St Martin councillors are to discuss the dualling at a private meeting this month.

Residents have until February 3 to make their views known - whether they object, support or simply want to comment on aspects of the project - to transport secretary Alistair Darling, c/o TWA Orders Unit, Zone 9/09, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6DT.

The scheme will enable the port to handle twice as many trains and transport 1.1 million containers by rail - taking hundreds of thousands more lorries off the A14.

WEBLINKS: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

www.trimley-st-mary.org.uk

www.trimley-st-martin.org.uk

Will the dualling project it affect your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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