As part of the ongoing public consultation into the closure of the Hospital Level Crossing in Ashington, Northumberland County Council is holding a session for residents and businesses to learn more about the options and speak to the project team.
It will take place on Tuesday, May 17, at YMCA Northumberland, North View, between 2pm and 7.30pm.
For more about the proposals and consultation visit https://haveyoursay.northumberland.gov.uk/transport/hlx/ until May 31.
Once opened by winter 2023, the introduction of faster and more frequent trains on the existing freight railway line will make the crossing unsafe for continued public use and it will need to be closed permanently.
From late 2020 there has been consultation on proposals for replacing it with an underpass.
A planning application was also submitted, which received a significant number of objections and due the extent and nature of these the council is now reviewing other options available.
These include closure with no replacement or a footbridge near the current crossing point.
Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business, said: “There’s been a good amount of feedback to the online consultation which we’re very grateful for and we’ll be studying this in detail.
“We’d also encourage anyone who lives or works locally who has an interest in the scheme to come along to our informal drop-in session and speak to the team and give us their views.
“It’s critical we find the best solution to this crossing issue as we look ahead to starting construction works this summer.”
Kieran Dunkin, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Restoring a regular passenger service along the Northumberland Line will mean more trains travelling at faster speeds than people in the area are used to.
“We’re here to help balance the needs of rail passengers and the community but safety has to come first, and this means looking at the options for permanently closing Hospital Level Crossing.
“I’d encourage the public to share their views through the consultation, so that we can find a solution that works best for everybody.”