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5th Aug, 2021

Safety fears may close rail crossings

Rob George 21st Jul, 2021

CONCERNS over a spate of incidents of anti-social behaviour and the safety of schoolchildren have forced council chiefs to table plans to close two city pedestrian railway crossings.

City councillors want to close the crossings at Brickfields Park and the popular ‘Kays crossing’ at the Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve because of concerns over continued vandalism and the safety of youngsters.

Residents are now being invited to air their views on the proposals before a final decision is taken later this year.

There are fears that people could be injured when they walk across the rail lines at the crossings at Brickfields Park and the Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve (known as the Kays crossing) unless action is taken.

Both crossings are footpaths across the railway lines, rather than level crossings for cars.

The Brickfields crossing links Brickfields Park to Astwood Road and has seen numerous incidents of stones being thrown at trains in the past. It was closed from 2017 to 2020 under a previous PSPO which has now expired.

The Kays crossing links Bromyard Road to Laugherne Brook Nature Reserve and is popular with schoolchildren.

However visibility at the crossing is poor, making it difficult to see if trains are coming.

Fencing has temporarily been put in place there, following several near-misses where people have almost been hit by a train. However, the fencing is now a regular target for vandalism.

Network Rail has asked for the crossings to be closed, because of concerns about safety at both sites. The power to take action lies with Worcester City Council.

Coun James Stanley, chair of the city council’s Communities Committee, said: “There are strong arguments for issuing PSPOs to close these two railway crossings, to protect both local people and train passengers.

“It’s important residents have the chance to give their views on these proposals, so I would encourage them to voice their opinion.”

The City Council is now proposing to issue Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to close the pedestrian crossings and has launched a six-week public consultation.

The results of the consultation will help the council’s Communities Committee to decide in November whether to go ahead with the proposed PSPOs.

Visit www.worcester.gov.uk/voiceit by August 30 to air your views.

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