The petition of residents of North East Lincolnshire,
Declares that the proposed closure of the level crossing (number 42, O.S. Grid ref. TA300097) at Suggitts Lane Level Cleethorpes by National Rail is at this time not warranted, and substantial investment and enactment of safety at the crossing should be explored and enacted before any other option is considered. This is to avoid loss of a vital historic, public amenity and would also result in a significant proportion of the public (who for health and disability reasons are unable to use the footbridge) being denied access to the Sea Front and Local Amenities.
The petitioners therefore urge the House of Commons urges to instruct Network Rail to consult with users of the crossing in order to establish a viable plan to keep the crossing open.
And the Petitioners remain —[Presented by Martin Vickers , Official Report, 9 April 2019; Vol. 658, c. 147 .]
Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Andrew Jones):
The UK has one of the safest railways in Europe, but this Government strive to ensure that safety continues to be improved. Level crossings remain one of the most significant risks to public safety on the railway network and it is therefore right that, where justified and practicable, they are closed to eliminate this risk. However, this should not be at the expense of local community access to both sides of the railway.
I am well aware of the complex issues surrounding Suggitt’s Lane level crossing and the depth of feeling in the local community. Whilst it remains the responsibility of Network Rail, as the infrastructure manager for the railway, to take the decision on whether to close the private crossing, I have urged it to arrange a meeting at the earliest opportunity between all parties that have an interest in Suggitt’s Lane. I have made it clear that this meeting should include North East Lincolnshire Council, local residents’ representatives and, of course, Network Rail itself. This should provide an opportunity for the concerns of the local community to be considered. I hope that this meeting will enable all parties to agree a solution that addresses both the safety and accessibility issues relating to Suggitt’s Lane.