Time for Network Rail to step up to the mark and give answers about Foxton Level Crossing gate delays

Susan van de Ven, (centre) with campaigners at Foxton level crossing

Susan van de Ven, (centre) with campaigners at Foxton level crossing - Credit: Archant

An explanation of the long delay to pedestrian gate repairs at Foxton Level Crossing was the order of the day as about 50 people packed into Foxton Village Hall to hear from Network Rail representatives.

The gates have been out of action for several months forcing pedestrians to cross the railway lines by using the limited space in the main road at the same time as the traffic on the A10.

Foxton county councillor Susan van de Ven expressed concern for the safety of all those using the crossing and asked why Network Rail had not completed a more comprehensive and recent risk assessment.

She told the Crow: “It is a disgraceful document not for reflecting what a terrible situation exists at the crossing but rather for its litany of errors, omissions and oversights.

“It offers no assessment at all of risks to pedestrians and other non-vehicle users, only trains.

“So it is an entirely useless document for the situation we have been working so hard and for so long to improve.

“Network Rail as an organisation has a lot to answer for and I feel we have been given the run around big time. This risk assessment is five years old and step one is to do it again properly.”

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A spokeswoman for Network Rail said the main issue with the gate is to do with its locking mechanism – and that there have been issues sourcing specialist parts to replace it.

She said: “The locking mechanism is linked to the signalling system so it isn’t just about replacing the actual gates.

“We want to work with the local community to understand their concerns and it was very useful to get their feedback.

“If residents have any concerns they can call our 24-hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

“We will update the council and MP Heidi Allen as we make progress to find a solution.”

In the meantime, the spokeswoman said Network Rail will look into the possibility of increasing the frequency the level crossing van visits the crossing to deter motorists from jumping the lights, look at the possibility of having a more visible presence at the crossing and continue working with the council on a long-term solution.