Little Bowden rail crossing shouldn’t have shut council says

Library image
Library image

A footpath over the railway line at Little Bowden, abruptly shut by Network Rail, should have been kept open.

That is what Network Rail has been told by Leicestershire County Council, in a meeting last week.

A county council spokesperson told the Mail: “Little Bowden level crossing is an important link for the local community that we would like to see kept open for residents.”

The well-used, light-controlled foot crossing at the end of Glebe Road, Little Bowden, was shut last month by Network Rail on safety grounds.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “The crossing at Little Bowden has been closed with immediate effect following our latest risk assessment which showed an unacceptably high level of risk to the public.”

But in closing the crossing, Network Rail ignored the views of Leicestershire County Council.

The council recently refused Network Rail’s request for an emergency closure, saying there was no evidence of an increase in danger at the crossing. And local people were annoyed by the sudden closure, saying Network Rail had been “high handed” and the closure was “unacceptable”.

Last week Network Rail met with the county council to discuss the sudden closure of the pedestrian route.

A county council spokesperson said: “We have been assured that Network Rail will be writing to local residents to explain the closure, and expect to hear more about their proposals by the end of this week.”

The council has already said it wants to see the crossing “restored to use as soon as possible”.

Local county councillor Dr Sarah Hill called the closure “unacceptable” and said Network Rail must build a bridge at the site before closing the crossing.

Network Rail argues that the crossing is too dangerous for pedestrians to use.

It says the crossing has been closed because “safety is our absolute priority”.