Plans to replace level crossing with underpass in Ashington are abandoned

A level crossing over part of the Northumberland Line looks set to close.

By Amanda Bourn
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th July 2022, 4:24 pm

Currently, anyone who wants to cross existing rails in Ashington on foot can use a level crossing between Darnley Road and Chillingham Crescent.

But the ‘Hospital level crossing’, as it is officially known, will have to close before the new passenger line becomes operational because so many trains plan to use it.

An underpass had been suggested, but locals said they were worried about it would be a magnet for anti-social behaviour and women or vulnerable people would not want to use it.

The Hospital level crossing in Ashington.

Three options – closure with no replacement, the creation of a bridge close to the crossing’s current location or an underpass – were therefore put forward as part of a recent public consultation.

More than 200 responses were received, with a majority supporting closure with no replacement.

Key concerns raised about the other options included anti-social behaviour, disturbance to and intrusion into neighbouring properties and the cost of construction.

As a result, the Northumberland Line project team plan to go with public opinion and not replace the current crossing with anything.

An application for the closure of the crossing and the removal of the public right of way running over it has now been submitted to the county council as the local highway authority, and it will make a final decision.

If the council does decide to close it, it will publicise its decision and there will be an opportunity for members of the public and stakeholders to comment before the closure can come into effect.If objections are made at this point, the closure will be subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State, who will hold a local inquiry to hear the objections before deciding whether or not to confirm the closure.To find out more about the Northumberland Line, go to www.northumberlandline.ukThe Northumberland Line scheme will see passenger trains brought back into service on the existing railway line between Ashington and Newcastle, and will improve connectivity and accessibility in the south east of the county.

Six new stations will also be created.