Newport rail crossing needs attention

The rail crossing at Newport

The rail crossing at Newport - Credit: Archant

AS a rambler, last week’s front page article in the Reporter (‘Fear over danger crossings’, March 7) promoting the case for closing footpath rail crossings caught my interest.

The view expressed that “the safest crossing is a closed one” has an Alice in Wonderland touch to it – a closed crossing is not a crossing at all.

However, it is not surprising that the Newport crossing takes 10 seconds to cross. Apart from the entry point, the track crossing is indistinguishable from any other part of the track, forcing one to walk over large stones and then risk stumbling over the raised rails. This requires all of one’s immediate attention.

If you want an example of a safer crossing, then view the one at Sawston bypass, which is level and skid free, allowing one to stroll over both tracks only six seconds. Mothers regularly cross it with pushchairs, dogs and toddlers. If Network Rail is at all blameworthy, then it is for not providing this level of facility for all its crossings.

For its concern, why ever has Newport Grammar School not put the rail crossing ‘Out of Bounds’ to its pupils, punishing those who contravene the order?

Curiously, the serious concern for the safety of pupils by the acting headmaster appears to cease when it comes to road transport. For years now, pupils who walk along the narrow main road footpath in front of the school have been risking death or injury by inches on a twice-daily basis.

Why, by contrast, is this so acceptable?

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George Turner

South Road

Saffron Walden