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Plea to reopen rail line footpath

Posted on November 30 2015 at 10:41:37

Network Rail has been accused of scaremongering to keep the pedestrian crossing over the rail line at Cofton Hackett closed for more than six months.

Resident Malcolm Shine has seen Network Rail documents after submitting a Freedom of Information application that show the organisation is aiming to close 200 level crossings over the next five years, despite the UK having one of the best safety records in Europe.

The documents show closure is Network Rail’s “preferred option” and lists the three options it has considered at Cofton and their estimated cost: Miniature warning lights, £400,000; Pedestrian footbridge, £1,000,000; closure of the crossing and diversion of the footpath, £5,000.

Mr Shine has also viewed the video evidence of the “near miss” cited as a reason for closing the crossing and has calculated the train was 250 metres away when the pedestrian crossed.

In a letter to Worcester County Council, which controls footpath closures, he writes: “On the basis of Network Rail’s scaremongering the crossing has been closed for six months. Now that this has been revealed the council should reopen it without delay.”

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