The Anonymous Widower

The Natives Are Getting Restless

It would appear that Network Rail have stirred up a hornet’s nest in Suffolk over the tricky subject of level crossings.

Over the last couple of days, three letters have appeared in The Times either supporting or opposing the closures.

I’ve also had talks with old friends in the County and some are not happy.

This web page on Network Rail’s web site, which is entitled Anglia level crossings proposals, gives more details. This is said.

We have been working to reduce the risk that level crossings pose and have developed proposals to manage the possible closure or change of use of around 130 level crossings in Anglia across Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.

We believe it’s possible to close level crossings:

  • with private rights only
  • by diverting people to where a nearby alternative exists
  • by providing a new public route to a nearby alternative

We will also look to downgrade level crossings to non-motorised users. None of the crossings in this proposal involve closing public A or B roads.

We recognise the importance of public rights of way and where possible we will maintain easy access to the countryside.

Having read the full document, I would say that Network Rail are trying to do there best to eliminate these hazards of a bygone age.

But try telling that to some of the locals.

What should bring it home to the locals is the Roudham train crash on April 10th, 2016, when a Class 170 train hit a tractor on a level crossing.

The train hasn’t been returned to service, so as I wrote in An Illustration Of East Anglia’s Rail Problems, the operator is scratching sround for trains.

So one place’s level crossing accident, is another area’s lack of trains.

There are rumours, that the Roudham crash was caused by human error, but the main cause of the crash, was the fact the level crossing existed.

All level crossings should be removed.

July 19, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,


  1. I agree, they should be closed. We have a couple in this area, I avoid them. Actually, one of them I only across a couple of years ago. Both are in built up residential areas, although may not have been in the past. I don’t like having to cross tram tracks in the city either. There is a tram line which comes out almost under Piccadilly, from under a tunnel – actually, two tunnels. And you can’t tell whether there is a tram at the station under the tunnel until you are actually about to cross the tram line. Thankfully at 3.30 on a Friday when I am using that route, the traffic is very very slow, which helps. But I don’t like it.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 19, 2016 | Reply

  2. I know the Manchester tunnel. The Germans are experimenting with warning lights for siuations like that!

    Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2016 | Reply

  3. But would the Mancunians obey them in their same was as the good people of Ausberg do. If there basic pedestrian skills anything to go by, I doubt it. Each Friday I park my car in Tib St, and scoot around to Oldham St, then back after my volunteer shift to my car, and out of the car park to head for home. People cross Oldham St between buses, not a care for their safety or anyone elses. They walk right in front of cars in the car park. And getting out of Tib Street is sometimes a bit alarming, because no-on looks where they re going. There are parts of the A6 with a similar issue. Everything is LOT worse at the start of the university year, because it is full of students who haven’t a clue about traffic safety.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 19, 2016 | Reply

    • I don’t know why, but pedestrians and drivers obeying of signals seems to vary around the country.

      It is much more difficult being a pedestrian in Manchester than in London, as vehicles seem to rush about a lot. Birmingham is bad too, as is Edinburgh. But I think Liverpool is better.

      What is impressive is that in some East European cities like Budapest and Krakow, signal obeying is high.

      Manchester also seems to have a problem with trucks rushing hither and thither.

      But I haven’t got any real data.

      In London now, a lot of boroughs are 20 mph for safety. Does that happen in Manchester?

      Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2016 | Reply

  4. We are getting more and more 20mph zones, but they are tending to be in more built up areas. I don’t like driving in Manchester. I don’t do it much. I am in there on a Friday, but rarely go actual shopping there.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 19, 2016 | Reply

    • We’re starting to get 20 mph boroughs!

      Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2016 | Reply

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