Network Rail remains committed to closing Tallington level crossing

Tallington level crossing. File picture.'Photo: MSMP040314-006ow EMN-140503-114521001
Tallington level crossing. File picture.'Photo: MSMP040314-006ow EMN-140503-114521001

Network Rail says it remains committed to closing Tallington level crossing, but cannot give a date for when work will begin.

The company carried out a study into the feasibility of closing Tallington and all other crossings on the East Coast Main Line last year.

Tallington is one of the busiest crossings in the country and barriers are often down for about 40 minutes per hour.

After consultation a “preferred option” of a road bridge to reroute the A1175 over the railway, rejoining the existing road part way through the village, was revealed earlier this year.

Network Rail has now brought an end to the nationwide consultation and is treating each crossing closure individually. A spokesman said each would be looked at as part of “planned railway improvement work”.

“We have reiterated our commitment to closing level crossings on the East Coast Main Line as part of our plans to boost train performance on this busy route,” he added. “Fewer crossings will also mean a safer railway for people who live and work alongside the railway.”

The spokesman added: “Now that these preferred options are in place, we will look to close level crossings wherever possible as part of planned railway improvement work, or where an opportunity for closure comes about due to development activity in surrounding areas.”

Many Tallington residents would prefer a bypass instead of Network Rail’s preferred option. A proposal by the Thurlby family, which owns much of the land to the north of Tallington, to provide 50 per cent of any increased land value, created by light industrial units on land behind the existing filling station and limited housing to the north or west of the village, could make up the shortfall in funding for the road.

The Network Rail spokesman said: “While we will not be funding a bypass at Tallington, we would like to again express our willingness to work with other stakeholders to find a mutually beneficial solution that will improve the traffic flows along the A1175.”

Tallington Parish Council has been working with Network Rail and the Tallington Bypass Now Group to come up with a solution for the village. The three organisations met earlier this month for an update on the project.

Parish council chairman Geoff Mayling said: “It was a very open, frank and productive meeting.

“It was good to hear that Network Rail intend to continue the dialogue with the parish council to try to find a solution.

“Network Rail is canvassing the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation to demonstrate that there is a wider economic benefit if Tallington crossing is closed. That was quite an interesting fact.

“The parish council and the Tallington Bypass Now Group will continue to lobby to create the bypass that is the only real solution to the Tallington problem.”

According to the most recent parish council newsletter a pre-planning application has been submitted by the Thurlby family to South Kesteven District Council for a “limited housing development”. The newsletter said this had been “favourably received by the planners.”

A detailed application would not be funded or put forward by the Thurlby family for planning or further consultation until Network Rail could confirm funding was in place for the bridge.