We are examining the option to close Lady Anne level crossing and Batley signal box by the end of 2022, subject to funding.
This study is being carried out to enable major railway improvements between Dewsbury and Leeds as part of the Transpennine Upgrade – such as faster, more frequent and more reliable trains – which the continued use of Lady Anne level crossing would restrict.
We are also generally aiming to eliminate safety risks by removing level crossings where possible and creating a safer railway.
Our monitoring shows that over 100 pedestrians use Lady Anne level crossing each day and we understand it is vital to maintain pedestrian access across the railway if the crossing is closed. No final decisions have yet been made and are not expected until Autumn time this year (2020), however we have presented initial footbridge design ideas.
The results of a recent resident and community group survey revealed that 61% would welcome a new footbridge if the crossing was closed to enable significant railway improvements, whilst 33% expressed a desire to keep the level crossing open. Key concerns regarding a potential new footbridge focussed on privacy, aesthetics and accessibility issues, which we would like to assure you will be factored into the next stage of our planning.
We have yet to make any final decisions regarding the closure of the level crossing or the design of a potential new footbridge to maintain access across the railway. However, the ‘Option 1’ footbridge design we proposed in the survey – which blends in more with the natural landscape – was preferred by 58% of respondents.
The survey acted as a first phase of engagement. To follow it up, we intend to host a public information event in Autumn to outline our plans in more detail and seek further input from the community, subject to securing project funding and social distancing guidelines at the time.
We’re investing £100m to improve level crossing safety.
There are around 6,000 level crossings in Britain – a legacy of a railway built 150 years ago when there were fewer and slower trains, and no cars on the road. We have a national safety awareness and improvements programme investing in closing and upgrading level crossings, alongside a safety awareness campaign aimed at specific user groups.
If you have any questions or enquiries please email TranspennineEngagement@networkrail.co.uk.