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A bridge too far for Blackwell

Posted on September 29 2017 at 3:33:15

Crossing

Blackwell residents have been told to “take firmly out of their minds” the idea of a railway bridge to replace the “yellow brick road” crossing.

County and district councillor Kit Taylor told a Lickey & Blackwell parish council meeting that the cost of a bridge (estimated to be around half a million pounds), coupled with “resistance” from neighbouring residents, meant the scheme was extremely unlikely to happen.

He pointed out that Network Rail do not actually own the land on either side of the crossing, and that in his opinion the structure would not be acceptable in the Green Belt.

Coun Taylor said that he had received a “mixed bag” of letters on the subject, revealing a split in the village; some pleading for the crossing to be re-opened and others praising the closure for safety reasons.

He added: “Faster and more frequent trains are ‘the whispering death’ – you wouldn’t hear them coming. One day a driver will forget to sound his horn, and there’s no way you could run fast enough to get out of the way.”

“That said, I would like to point out that I am neutral on this subject – people are assuming I’m on the side of the walkers, because they had to send their objections to me!”

Network Rail is seeking to make the closure permanent and replace the crossing with a diversion via Linthurst Newtown and Blackwell Road, but some villagers and councillors say the route is unsafe.

Coun Janet King asked whether Blackwell Golf Club might be approached again regarding walkers crossing part of their land, but Coun Taylor said this was unlikely – although “no stone would be left unturned” to find a suitable solution.

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