As part of the Great North Rail Project, we are proposing to make two level crossings on the Wigan to Southport railway line safer for the public and passengers.

Shaws and Crabtree level crossings, which are both located in Lancashire, are currently used by motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in very low numbers.

Drivers currently have to operate the crossing themselves which involves crossing the railway five times. Due to the position of the crossing path, users are required to cross the railway diagonally, prolonging the time spent on the railway tracks.

The primary objective of the scheme is to improve the safety of each level crossing.

Shaws level crossing
Shaws Level Crossing
Crabtree level crossing
Crabtree Level Crossing

Key benefits

Our proposal is to permanently close both level crossings to motorists and realign the position of the crossing path at each level crossing to enable pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders to spend less time on the tracks when they cross the railway. This will:

  • Improve safety for the public, train passengers and railway staff
  • Improve the efficiency of the level crossings
  • Reduce future maintenance

Our plans

Shaws level crossing

At Shaws level crossing, a tarmacked turning area on the south would enable vehicles to divert back along Sutch Lane to Carr Lane. As the vehicle crossing closure will cut-off properties on the northern side of the level crossing, this will require the creation of a new section of tarmacked road 4.5m wide from the north side of Sutch Lane, across a field with a passing bay on the south side to link to Meadow Lane.

To improve visibility onto Meadow Lane from the new access road, some hedgerows on the south east of Meadow Lane and a line of trees on the north west will be relocated. Some compensatory planting will also be put in.

Shaws level crossing map
Shaws level crossing
Shaws level crossing turning area map
Turning area south of Shaws level crossing

Temporary signage will also be provided confirming the diversion and permanent signage will be installed to inform drivers that there will be a no through route on Sutch Lane.

Crabtree level crossing

At Crabtree level crossing, two tarmacked turning areas north and south of the crossing are proposed. The proposed turning area on the northern side of the level crossing would enable traffic to divert back along Crabtree Lane to Red Cat Lane, the A59 (Liverpool Rd North), Orrell Lane and back onto Crabtree Lane to the south of the level crossing. The proposed turning area on the southern side of the crossing would enable traffic to divert south along Crabtree Lane and back to Orrell Lane and Higgins Lane to the south west.

Crabtree level crossing map
Crabtree level crossing
Crabtree level crossing turning area map
Turning areas at Crabtree level crossing

Temporary signage will also be provided confirming the diversion and permanent signage will be installed to inform drivers that there will be a no through route on Crabtree Lane.

Public consultation

Your views and acquiring consent for the project

As the proposals will require work to take place outside the railway boundary we will need to prepare and apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to authorise both the construction of these works and to use land outside the railway boundary either temporarily or permanently for the construction and operation of the Scheme.

Have your say:

Our consultation for the local community ran from 15 February to 28 March 2021. We are in the process of reviewing the consultation responses which will inform our decision on applying for the Transport & Works Act Order. An upate will be published on this page in due course.

Email us at shawsandcrabtree@networkrail.co.uk or call 01524 881 26.

Project timeline

  • 15 February – 28 March 2021 Statutory and public consultation. Your opportunity to have your say
  • Summer 2021 – Submit TWAO application to the Secretary of State for Transport
  • Spring 2022 – Anticipated decision from the Secretary of State (if a public inquiry is not held)
  • Spring 2023 – Anticipated start of works (estimated three to five months)

Contact us

Please visit our contact us page or call our national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.