Plans to close and replace a level crossing near York are ‘incredibly short sighted’, MP Julian Sturdy has told a rail inquiry.
Because trains will travel faster along the TransPennine route after its upgrade, Network Rail says the level crossing at Copmanthorpe will become unsafe.
Its solution is to move the crossing and install a stepped footbridge.
Mr Sturdy says many of his York Outer constituents in Copmanthorpe and Bishopthorpe have contacted him to object to the plan, and he’s also received strong representations from the parish council and ward councillor Chris Steward.
A stepped footbridge would exclude wheelchair users from using the crossing and make it more difficult for families with pushchairs.
It would also hamper ambitions for an active travel route between Bishopthorpe and Copmanthorpe, Mr Sturdy says.
The rail inquiry into the plan has heard from Copmanthorpe Parish Council, City of York Council and York Disability Forum among others.
“It was important for me to appear at the inquiry on behalf of my constituents to show Network Rail the strength of feeling among the community,” Mr Sturdy said.
“Not only are the current proposals exclusionary but also incredibly short sighted.
“It is inevitable when an active travel route is commissioned between Bishopthorpe and Copmanthorpe that the bridge will be upgraded to a ramped bridge to allow for easier access for cyclists.
“Rather than save now and spend more later, Network Rail should install the necessary infrastructure first time.
“I await the outcome of the inquiry and will continue to work with stakeholders in the community to ensure the views of the villages are heard.”