REVEALED - The 11 level crossings in NE Cambs from Downham to Littleport to Eastrea to March that Network Rail want to close

Eastrea Cross Drove Level Crossing, Whittlesey.

Eastrea Cross Drove Level Crossing, Whittlesey. - Credit: Archant

MP Steve Barclay spoke today of the possibility of “significant local disruption” if Network Rail presses ahead with closing 11 level crossings in NE Cambs.

Network Rail admitted to being “acutely aware that the closure of level crossings in communities requires sensitive community and stakeholder engagement”.

The shock announcement by Network Rail was revealed to Mr Barclay late Sunday night and ahead of closure details being revealed tomorrow for the rest of East Anglia.

“It is odd to receive this news regarding cuts impacting constituents at 9.30pm on a Sunday evening,” Mr Barclay told Network Rail.

He was also concerned about “your letter gives no details of current usage of these level crossings planned for closure. Please can you confirm that usage surveys have been conducted and send me a copy of the usage figures and timescales involved?”

Mr Barclay added: “I think constituents will be interested in these closure plans which could cause significant local disruption. Please can you tell me what criteria will be applied when reaching a decision following the public consultation- how will you demonstrate that the public voice will not be overruled?”

Richard Schofield, route managing director for Network Rail, described their plans as “an innovative approach to level crossing closure”.

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Anglia has 779 level crossings but following a review more than 130 are now being targeted for closure.

Locally these are:

•Brickyard Drove, Whittlesey

•Eastrea Cross Drove, Eastrea

•Furlong Drove, Little Downham

•Middle Drove, March, Cambs

•Silt Drove, March, Cambs

•Black Horse Drove, Littleport

•Clayway, Littleport

•Coffue Drove, Little Downham

•Littleport Station, Littleport

•Poplar Drove, Littleport

•Willow Row/Willow Road, Littleport

Public meetings to discuss the closures are already planned for June 7 from 2pm to 7pm at March Community Centre and at Littleport Village Hall on June 8 from 2pm to 9pm.

Mr Schofield said those identified for closure could be diverted to nearby alternatives or downgraded to pedestrian crossings only.

“Closing the level crossings and diverting to alternatives will make the railway safer by removing the point where people can come into contact with trains,” he said.