Network Rail submits plan for crossing

PUBLISHED: 15:53 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 May 2010

LOCKING gates and a pedestrian footbridge are expected to be installed at Elsenham railway crossing by the end of the year. Network Rail has submitted a planning application to Uttlesford District Council for the footbridge, which it hopes to have in plac

LOCKING gates and a pedestrian footbridge are expected to be installed at Elsenham railway crossing by the end of the year.

Network Rail has submitted a planning application to Uttlesford District Council for the footbridge, which it hopes to have in place by autumn.

The long-awaited move to install extra safety measures at the crossing has come almost 18 months after the deaths of Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and Charlotte Thompson, 13, killed by a train at the crossing in December 2005.

Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail Anglia route director, said: "The tragic deaths of Charlotte and Olivia will never be forgotten. The new footbridge will provide an additional safe means of crossing the railway as rail traffic increases in future years and the wicket gates are locked for longer periods.

"We are confident our proposal puts forward a strong case and look forward to moving on as soon as possible to the next stage of the construction process."

Saffron Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst, who has been pressing Network Rail to take improve safety at the crossing, welcomed the news.

He said: "Action is already in hand to get the pedestrian gate-locking system in place.

"I am pleased that it is hoped to have not just this, but also the footbridge in place by the end of the year.

"Whatever the importance of having a lock on the pedestrian gate,

I was convinced that the real answer was a footbridge.

"I feared that this might be years away, but I am glad that Network Rail has agreed with the argument of myself and others."

The planning application is currently being processed by the district council and will be decided on at a forthcoming development control committee meeting.

Sir Alan said: "In the circumstances, which are all so dreadfully clear in our memory, I cannot imagine that Uttlesford District Council will be slow to approve the planning application.

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