Passionate protestors who tied red ribbons on a threatened signal box in Deeping St James are back on track with some good news – because their petition is on the fast train to the railway minister.
Claire Perry has agreed to challenge Network Rail, who want to bulldoze the 19th century signal box as part of a £280 million modernisation of the Great Northern Great Eastern railway line between Doncaster and Peterborough.
The good news was delivered to the red ribbon protest on Saturday by Deepings MP John Hayes (Con), who was presented the petition.
Mr Hayes said Mrs Perry intended to go to Network Rail on Monday, asking them to look at their plans again and come up with an alternative solution.
After the first option – to leave it where it is – alternatives include moving it slightly, making room for the new electronic barriers, or moving it to the opposite side.
Phil Dilks, the county councillor who has supported the campaign throughout, said: “At the moment some temporary barriers have been put up behind the box so maybe the electronic barriers could be repositioned there.
“The support at the red ribbon protest shows just how many people don’t want the signal box to go.
“The news Mr Hayes brought is shows how politics have been put aside for the community to pull together for something they believe in.
“That, and the fact the signal box is the only Great Northern Railway designed and built box left – and Network Rail is publicly-owned had got to put us in a strong position.
“But even though Network Rail haven’t come up with a sound engineering reason for it coming down, we have to act fast because they have a date for the signal box to be demolished in October.”
Network Rail has already agreed to leave the dismantled box – minus the levers – in a nearby field so it can be rebuilt at a later date.
However, protestors want it left intact and used as a museum.