MP ‘anxious’ to make progress on signal box

Signal box red ribbon protest Deeping St James'All with MP John Hayes centre ANL-140928-091504009
Signal box red ribbon protest Deeping St James'All with MP John Hayes centre ANL-140928-091504009
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An MP has held talks with ministers and rail bosses to try to find a way to rebuild a historic signal box that was recently demolished.

Deepings MP John Hayes (Con) backed the campaign to save the building in Station Road, Deeping St James, from the start.

The signal box was taken down by Network Rail in October to make way for new automatic barriers as part of a wider modernisation scheme.

But last month Mr Hayes met secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin (Con) and Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster to discuss the possibility of rebuilding the box.

Mr Hayes said he was “anxious to make further progress” on the signal box. He added: “Mr Verster said we were in a very good place and would have another meeting soon to lay the foundations for the re-erecting of the signal box.

“When the box was dismantled, detailed drawings were done so that it could be rebuilt and we’ve identified a piece of land adjacent to where the signal box stood and that Network Rail owns for the rebuilding of the box.

“It would require discussions about ownership, management, responsibility and access but, in principle, there’s a determination to get this done and to have this matter resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.”

Deeping St James resident Stuart Hall was one of the campaigners fighting to save the signal box. He said: “This is the first positive piece of news we’ve had about the signal box and we’re very excited.

“It’s going to take some time to raise the money to get the box back up but we’ve said from day one that it will go back up.”

Lincolnshire county councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks (Lab), who backed the campaign, said it would cost a lot of money to rebuild the signal box.

He added: “I would like to see it rebuilt and used as a community facility but the finances have got to be sorted out.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “As promised, we undertook a full dimensional and photographic survey prior to dismantling the building.

“Network Rail has salvaged and/or replaced materials to enable the signal box to be rebuilt which is available to the community in line with our original commitments.”