THE CAMPAIGN to get the Cofton Hall rail crossing re-opened has received a welcome boost after Network Rail announced it was putting forward two alternative options for a long-term solution.
The Standard reported last month a decision had been taken to keep the walkway closed until the end of the year because of safety concerns, despite there never being any fatalities on the crossing.
Concerns about the path, which takes pedestrians across three railway lines from Cofton Church Lane to Bittell Farm Road, were raised by NR which claimed users were not stopping at the ‘central refuge’ to check it was safe to cross.
Network Rail said there was insufficient warning time of approaching trains and claimed there could be up to 300 trains-a-day using the route with some of them travelling up to 90mph.
But now the organisation has come up with two alternatives.
The first is for the existing footpath to be diverted further down the track to provide more warning time and the second is for a new footbridge to be built near the current footpath with a minor diversion of that path.
Residents are now being given until March 27 to have their say on which option they would prefer.
Coun Peter McDonald, who has been campaigning to get the crossing re-opened, said: “This is really good news, at long last Network Rail is to carry out a meaningful consultation process with all users of the crossing.
“There are now options on offer such as a bridge in the same location or nearby, as well as alternative routes.
“I have made it clear that I am in favour a bridge being built at the same location, which would ensure the right of way is still open to the public.
“I would urge as many people as possible to get involved in the consultation process to ensure the crossing is not lost.”
To take part in the consultation write to Network Rail, Desk Ram/5, 11th Floor, 100 Wharfside Street, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RT.