Council adds its voice to calls for level crossing closure

Cllr Julie Wisson

Cllr Julie Wisson - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire councillors have backed a call to push Network Rail to close the Offord Cluny level crossing as a “matter of urgency”.

At a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council on December 13, councillors agreed to contact the operator for answers about its plan for the crossing.

A motion put forward by the councillor for Buckden, Gransden and The Offords, Julie Wisson, said: “The situation will only get worse as the amount of trains on this line and across the level crossing increases as a result of improved frequencies and new services.”

Members agreed the council’s chief executive should write to Network Rail expressing concern about the pace of the replacement of the crossing and officers should arrange a meeting with the company to discuss issues raised.

After the meeting Cllr Wisson said: “I was really pleased that the motion was unanimously supported.

“This is something that needs addressing - Buckden is sandwiched between a very dangerous roundabout and a dangerous rail crossing.”

The vote comes after Huntingdonshire District Council agreed to press Network Rail and government to remove the crossing by “whatever means and at the earliest opportunity” at a meeting last month.

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In July last year, Network Rail announced it had scrapped some of its programme to close level crossings on the East Coast Main Line from King’s Cross to Doncaster and was to “take a case-by-case approach”.

Cllr Wisson is calling for the crossing between Offord Cluny and Buckden to be put “at the top of the list”.

“People were disappointed when Network Rail cancelled the plan for the crossing which is why I put the motion forward,” Cllr Wisson added.

“At the time of the consultation Offord was going to have a bridge over the railway line which would have made access better and easier.

“What we want now is the bridge over the line – once the A14 is completed the traffic modelling is showing there will be an increase down the A1 which will affect the crossing.”

Following the vote by the district council, Network Rail told The Hunts Post: “Although there are currently no plans to close the level crossing in Offord Cluny, we are committed to making level crossings which lie on the East Coast Main Line safer.”