Council urges Netowrk Rail to answer Tallington crossing questions in person

Residents at a meeting of Tallington Parish Council on September 9. EMN-141009-191441001
Residents at a meeting of Tallington Parish Council on September 9. EMN-141009-191441001
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Angry villagers expecting an update on plans to close a level crossing were left frustrated by answers given at a parish council meeting.

Tallington Parish Council invited the public to its Tuesday meeting expecting a representative from Network Rail to turn up.

The council had hoped the firm would be able to give an update on its plans to close the A1175 level crossing and build a road bridge over it. But instead of answering questions in person, Network Rail sent a written response.

After the meeting parish council chairman Geoff Mayling said: “The response from the village residents ranged generally from dismay to disgust, and in particular, they have wasted a lot of our time, been unprofessional, disorganised, shambolic and finally Network Rail are treating the village with contempt.

“We are after all the people most affected by the two proposals on the table concerning the level crossing closure.

“The initial indications from Network Rail were that we would have to wait until January before we are informed of the results of the first stage consultation period. In discussions we hope that we have persuaded Network Rail to meet the village residents earlier than that.

“We have informed Network Rail that our MP Nick Boles is holding a meeting in the village hall on September 26. We hope that this will persuade Network Rail to brief the village before the Nick Boles meeting. If this is the case we will call an extraordinary parish council meeting as our next scheduled meeting is in November.”

In June Network Rail revealed its two preferred options for Tallington. The first is a short road bridge on the site of the existing crossing. The second is a bridge to the south with a road through the village, which would result in the demolition of several homes.

Network Rail said it was not in a position to answer the kind of questions that would be asked at a public meeting.

In its written update to the council, the firm said: “It is important for Network Rail to consider all of the feedback that has been received and to carry out this additional work prior to selecting preferred options and presenting those options to residents.”

The firm said it would arrange a meeting at a later date.