A public consultation is underway on options for the level crossing on the Northumberland Line rail route.
Once opened in winter 2023, the introduction of faster and more frequent trains on the existing freight railway line will make Hospital Level Crossing unsafe for continued public use and officials say it will need to be closed permanently.
From late 2020, Northumberland County Council has held consultation on proposals for replacing this crossing with an underpass.
A planning application was submitted, which received a significant number of objections.
As a result of the objections, the council is now reviewing other options available, including closure with no replacement or a footbridge near the current crossing point.
People can find out more about the proposals by visiting the consultation webpage at https://haveyoursay.northumberland.gov.uk/transport/hlx/XL until May 31.
The council will also be hosting a drop in event for local residents and businesses to learn more about the options and speak to the project team.
This will take place on Tuesday, May 17, at YMCA Northumberland, North View, Ashington, between 2pm and 7.30pm.
Cllr Wojciech Ploszaj, cabinet member for business, said: “We’re making great progress behind the scenes on this project and are looking forward to starting construction works this summer.
“Before that it’s vital we get everything right and we want to find a solution to this level crossing issue which works for both the wider project and local people.
“I’d really urge residents to get involved and have their say as we know it’s already generated a lot of feeling locally.
“All feedback from the consultation will be used to review the options and determine a way forward for Hospital Level Crossing.”
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.”