Network Rail have announced plans to eliminate two Level crossings that many of our residents use every day.

More than 350 people use the crossing at The Hatches in Frimley Green every day, and most of these also use the crossing at Farnborough North.

Network Rail are proposing to pay for step-free footbridges to eliminate the level crossings whilst maintaining the public footpath through the Hatches.

The reason they are willing to make this investment is because level crossings are inherently dangerous. Level crossings risk is assessed on two scales:

    1. The risk to individual users, on a scale from A (highest risk) to M (lowest risk).
    2. The collecrtive, overall risk of any incident occuring, on a scale of 1 (highest risk) to 13 (lowest risk).

The crossing at the Hatches is assessed as C (Very High) 3 (Very High), and is judged the 11th highest risk crossing of its type on this part of the network.

The crossing at Farnborough North, which has Miniature Stop Lights is assessed as F(Moderate) 4 (High) and is judged the 6th highest risk crossing of its type on this part of the network.

Eliminating the level-crossings with bridges will reduce these risks to M13, or Zero. It will also eliminate the need to horn-blowing between 0600 and 2359 which is a source of significant complaints from residents within hearing distance of the ‘whistle boards’ either side of the level crossing.

There are understandable concerns about exactly where the footbridge will be sited, and when the detailed plans are published this will become clear.

I believe that whilst disruption to local residents should be considered in assessing the options, the safety of residents should also be a significant consideration.