I am completely opposed to Network Rail's decision to close Suggitt's Lane level crossing. I have made this clear to Network Rail representatives both in person and in written correspondence but it is clear that they are determined to push ahead.
There is evidently strong opposition to this plan locally, from me, residents and the Council, yet Network Rail have ignored us at every stage.
I have raised the matter in the House of Commons several times and have secured the support of the Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, who has urgently asked Network Rail to review their decision.
Together with the Rail Minister, I met representatives of Network Rail on Monday 8th April to further make the case.
On Wednesday 3rd April, I presented the Minister with a petition, signed by 4,000 local residents who are opposed to the closure and on Monday 8th April I presented that petition to the House of Commons.
9th April 2019
Yesterday I had a constructive meeting with four representatives of Network Rail, the Rail Minister, Andrew Jones, and an official from the Department for Transport to discuss the closure of Suggitt's Lane level crossing.
The Minister and I put forward a range of alternative safety measures to protect users and provide continuous access to the foreshore and North promenade. We also pointed out that the alternative route took people over very busy roads which may present a greater risk.
It was noted that NR and North East Lincolnshire Council are the principle landowners and it was agreed that a meeting between NELC, NR and representatives of the local community should take place urgently. I asked NR to consider reopening the gates while negotiations take place and they agreed to look into the matter.
NR highlighted the fact that they would be open to legal challenge if a death or injury occurred on the crossing. I suggested that the law has not changed for years and so why would they suddenly decide the crossing needed to be closed but they argued that, whilst the law has not changed, the interpretation of it had.
3rd April 2019
Today I handed over to the Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, a petition signed by over 4,000 local residents objecting to the closure of Suggitt's Lane level crossing by Network Rail. Thank you to DN35 Crime Watch for all of their efforts in collecting signatures.
I also raised the matter in the House of Commons, this time as a Point of Order, to ask the Speaker how best to proceed.
9th March 2019
I strongly object to plans to close Suggitt's Lane crossing and joined protesters on Saturday to oppose the ludicrous idea.
I have met with Network Rail and pointed out to them some of the inaccuracies that they had made in their original letter to me and I have stressed the inconvenience that this will cause to many residents.
There are no alternatives to this crossing and people should not be expected to walk to Fuller Street Bridge and then back on themselves to access this area.
I met with the Rail Minister earlier this week and I am hoping that he will be able to use his influence, but the decision lies with Network Rail.
They need to be looking at other safety measures that can be used, such as installing warning lights or interlocking gates.
Bringing the speed of the trains down to 20mph would also be measure that could be used.
Below are a list of correspondence between me and Network Rail as well as the Council and Network Rail.
|Network Rail to Martin Vickers, 11/04/19||146.74 KB|
|Rail Minister to Martin Vickers, 11/04/19||770.89 KB|
|Network Rail to Martin Vickers, 03/01/19||493.28 KB|
|Network Rail to NEL Council, 22/01/19||499.71 KB|
|NEL Council to Network Rail, 24/01/19||561.29 KB|
|Martin Vickers to Network Rail, 05/03/19||311.76 KB|
|Network Rail to Martin Vickers, 13/03/19||554.28 KB|
|Martin Vickers to Rail Minister, 25/03/19||478.87 KB|