Network Rail has said it is ‘extremely disappointed’ after Lewes District Council’s planning committee rejected its proposals to replace the traditional Plumpton level crossing gates with an automatic barrier.
The company has also said the road closures currently in place will remain so until the level crossing is safe to open.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail is extremely disappointed that Lewes District Council has not approved our plans to upgrade the crossing in Plumpton.
“We estimate that the £2million investment plan to replace the signaller-operated crossing with a new full barrier would have made the crossing 63 per cent safer.
“Network Rail is committed to making the railway as safe, reliable and efficient as possible and our plans for Plumpton are part of a national move to improve level crossing safety.
“Network Rail always tries to minimise the impact that our Railway Upgrade Plan has on both the passengers that use our network and also the community that surrounds it.
“However, as we now need to change our plans and approach to the project, road closures will now remain in place for longer, until the level crossing is complete and safe to open.”
“We have taken many factors into consideration in making the decision to renew this Level Crossing. This includes current levels of Level Crossing failure, safety concerns at the crossing which in part relate to the volume of traffic, particularly on Plumpton Racecourse race days.
“Network Rail commissioned an independent study into the feasibility of upgrading the existing gates and it concluded that this was not a viable option. The current technology dates back to the 19th century and we will be replacing it with 21st century technology which is safer and more reliable.”
“The crossing gates, signalbox and curtilage of the crossing are Grade II listed. We have held discussions with the local Parish Council and residents about what they would like to do with them.
“The agreement is to donate the gates and associated equipment to the East Kent Railway based at Sheperdswell in Kent.
“The signalbox will remain in situ and will continue to contain all its original features albeit not in working order. The signalbox itself will continue to be maintained by Network Rail.”
To view the residents’ reaction to the decision, click here.
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