'It would have a profound impact on everyone' - Protest against closure of pedestrian gate at Foxton level crossing

PUBLISHED: 17:25 29 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:30 29 September 2016

Protesters gathered at the level crossing in Foxton on Tuesday.

Protesters gathered at the level crossing in Foxton on Tuesday.

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Protesters against Network Rail's proposal to close a pedestrian gate at a level crossing gathered at the site in Foxton on Tuesday - and the second consultation period is set to end today.

Network Rail plans to get rid of the gate, which allows pedestrians and cyclists to keep off the road on the west side of the Barrington Road crossing.

Susan van de Ven is a county councillor for Foxton and surrounding villages and chair of the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group.

She said: “We had more children involved in the protest than ever before, and these are the vulnerable road users – they use the crossing on their way to school.

“We are trying to encourage people go to around on foot or by bike, but this wouldn’t be safe. Lots of ordinary families came along to the protest because they’d be affected.

“People are astounded at the proposal because it benefits no one except Network Rail – who would be able to wash their hands of this crossing.”

Mrs Van de Ven said that closing the gate introduces a new risk for everyone trying to cross over.

“Pedestrians and cyclists would be forced to cross the A10 twice over to leave the path, traverse the level crossing on the east side, and then cross the A10 again to rejoin the path,” she said.

“I’m angry and worried. Network Rail holds much more power in this.

“For them it’s a tick-box exercise but they could stop this closure before it gets to the Secretary of State – the decision is going to have a profound impact on everyone in the village’s lives.

“Our next move would be civil disobedence if necessary.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We have been holding a second round of consultation sessions across the region and we have yet to consider the information we gathered from these sessions.

“We are working with Cambridgeshire County Council and local stakeholders to understand their concerns and see if there is anything further we can do as part of the consultation. No final decisions have been made.”

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