Permanent closure of the A10 path at level crossing

Foxton Level Crossing gate closure

A sign has gone up at Foxton indicating that Network rail propose to permanently close the gate that forms part of the path and cycle byway along the course of the A10 to the west side of the A10.

Yes, this one:

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Some members attended a recent local Rail Users Group meeting where this subject was addressed with a member of Network Rail staff present and it appears, to our astonishment, that they are serious. The alarming aspect is the proposal to mitigate the risk to users of the path, is to simply put a couple of islands in the middle of the A10 either side of the crossing, expecting you to cross over then back again to continue your journey.

This stretch of road sees 5 figure vehicle movements a day. Anyone who uses the A10 knows crossing twice is not an option, even with islands. We know from the lengthy period that the old broken gate was locked, that you have little choice but to take your chances on the A10, against the traffic if travelling south. When asked to provide a genuinely workable solution, we are told that there are not the funds available. They really do intend to blow a hole in the path that will prevent many users from being able to make journeys beside the A10.

Network Rail are proposing to close hundreds of gate crossings nationally, most in areas they class as rural (this is 7 miles from Kings College!). They claim this is on safety grounds. In many cases, they may well have a point but:

This gate though is not your typical out in the sticks uncontrolled gate.

This gate is:

  • Fully controlled, meaning it locks as a train approaches at the same time as the road barriers.

  • It is right below the signal box giving the signalman an excellent view of the crossing (the best view of the different crossings here).

  • The only viable option for some users such as people riding with their children etc.

  • Recently replaced with a reliable locking gate by Network Rail

Without the gate:

  • The crossing becomes so difficult that many people will cease to use the path

  • Force people to cross against the traffic on the West side

  • Need any person attempting to cross running at gaps in high speed traffic
  • The west side is largely out of view of the signalman and is a lot further to travel between the gates

  • Leave the area ill equipped to cope with the huge expansion in housing and employment that the area is seeing

Network Rail’s own statistics report that there were no incidents at this crossing at its last survey

What you can do:

  • Read the PDF details of the proposals here
  • Fill in the online survey here (you need to click on ‘Cambridge’ and its crossing ‘C06 Barrington Road’)
  • Write to anglialevelcrossings@networkrail.co.uk  asking that they delay the decision until the whole crossing can be dealt with. It is known that in coming years the whole crossing will need to be shut and a solution for the road and path will need to be found

We can not stress how important this is. The rail users meeting quickly became heated. It was apparent very early on the Network Rail simply did not understand the situation. It was claimed on as couple of occasions that at a Cambridge based consultation that the proposal was supported by some cyclists. A member at the meeting says this is not the case and general feeling was the proposal was crazy. Everyone at the Rail Users meeting thought it was crazy. Please stand up for this vital link. The County Council has gone to great effort and expense to make this route a viable transport option. A major aim of the campaign is to mitigate the risks of using the A10. This proposal is simply a disaster.

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