Agenda item

East Coast Main Line (ECML) Level Crossing Closure Programme


The Development Manager introduced this report which was presented at the request of the Commission to provide an update on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) Level Crossing Closure Programme. The report had previously been presented to the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on 3 March 2015. The Planning and Environmental Protection Committee had resolved that the contents of the reports and comments were noted. The following comments had been made:


·         The Committee commented that the traffic modelling would be vital to ensure that any diverted traffic would not cause congestion in the surrounding villages. It was suggested that consideration should be given to the access Lolham Bridges, to ensure that the site did not become a ‘dumping ground’.


The closure of the following level crossings was proposed:


·         Woodcroft (Woodcroft Road to the Southeast of Helpston)

·         Helpston

·         Maxey

·         Lolham Bridges and Helpston Footpath (north of B1443 and NE of Bainton)


The Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities were asked to note the report as an item of information only and were advised that responsibility for commenting on the item was with the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee.


Observations and Questions were raised around the following areas:


·         Members queried what the total investment was for this whole project. The ECML Deputy Project Manager advised Members that the exact cost of the bridges and the cost plan was still working progress and the costs could not be finalised until the end of the consultation.

·         Members queried whether Peterborough City Council could put measures in place to tackle the issue of the lack of footpaths and safe walkways over railway crossings. The Development Manager advised the Commission that measures may be put in place as part of the mitigation for the proposals. What villages’ desired in terms of planning would need to be linked to the impact of the proposals.

·         Members requested that footpaths and cycle routes were linked up in a way which would encourage members of the public to use them. The ECML Deputy Project Manager advised members that ECML had tried to engage with cyclists and members of the public and taken in to account their views.

·         Members commented that they supported the project because the majority of residents were happy with the plans. This project would also prevent future delay of emergency service vehicles due to level crossings.

·         Members commented that there were advantages of the proposals although, they could potentially block certain roads and through routes.

·         Members requested reassurance that Network Rail would still be available after the project was established in case of any future issues. The ECML Deputy Project Manager advised Members that Network Rail would mitigate and predict as much as possible in advance to avoid any future issues. This was the reason behind the traffic modelling as this tool would give very good representation of future outcomes.

·         Members commented that villages affected by the reallocations had no objections to the project and suggested that it would be useful to obtain data projections of where developments would take place. Members were informed that this information was published on the website for people to view.

·         Members queried whether the traffic modelling took in to account the increase in traffic using alternative routes once the level crossings have been removed. Members were advised that the traffic modelling simulated the delay of proposed road users. It was represented accurately and showed traffic rearranging.

·         Members asked who was going to pay for the project. Members were advised that Network Rail would pay for the project unless Peterborough City Council or Parish Councils had further ideas, which they would have to pay for themselves. Impacts on villages’ mitigation should be paid for by Network Rail.

·         Members commented that Network Rail had been extremely supportive of Parish Councils and had been out to deliver presentations, therefore Parish Councils felt that Network Rail had nothing to hide and all of the proposals would be open to Scrutiny. There was confidence in the outcome of the projects being the best possible solutions.


At this point the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Services gave his apologies and left the meeting to attend another meeting.




The Commission noted the report as an item of information only.



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