The Member of Parliament for York Outer has written to Network Rail in response to their consultation on the closure of the level crossing at Copmanthorpe.
Julian Sturdy says he shares residents’ views on the plans to build a bridge which would mean access to Bishopthorpe and walking paths would not be so direct for some people in the village which is just outside York.
The level crossing allows only pedestrians to cross the four tracks and it is protected by a red and green traffic light system.
Frequent passenger and goods trains including the London to Scotland LNER trains use the line.
There is a telephone to the signal centre as well as gates and safety signage. Similar crossings can be found on the line to the north of York where speeds are even faster.
Network Rail are proposing to close the level crossing as part of wider upgrades to the Transpennine route, which will see increased capacity and faster journey times between York and other major northern cities.
A local consultation has been held on the creation of a replacement crossing, with two proposals being put forward. Either a new pedestrian bridge at York Field Lane or the addition of a separate walkway at the existing road bridge on Temple Lane.
Both of these proposals have attracted criticism from local residents for not being centrally located enough, leaving one half of the village or the other without a convenient crossing point.
The preferred option of the parish council is for a new pedestrian bridge at the recreation ground which is both centrally located and would facilitate a potential future extension of the recreation ground to land on the other side of the railway.
Network Rail have since committed to conducting a scoping report on the recreation ground proposal and Mr Sturdy has urged them to return to local residents, presenting this as a viable option alongside the other proposals.
After submitting his comments to Network Rail he said:
“Having met with representatives of Network Rail and Copmanthorpe Parish Council to discuss the proposals put forward in the consultation, it is clear that whilst an additional walkway over the bridge at Temple Lane would be welcomed, there is concern that neither option provides the ideal long-term solution to meet the needs of the village.
“I am therefore glad that Network Rail have agreed to conduct a scoping report on the feasibility of a footbridge at the parish council’s preferred location at the recreation ground.
“Following on from this I urge them to bring forward concrete proposals for the local community to comment on and I look forward to seeing these plans progressed to the next stage.”