Twyford Road level crossing, FP68 Bishop’s Stortford

Update

Brian Edwards of Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation has alerted us to entries on BSCF Facebook page on 2 May 2015.
For anyone who doesn’t access Facebook the exchange (all people objecting to the proposed closure of FP68) suggests there is a petition to sign. We are not aware of one.

Twyford Road level crossing is a public footpath level crossing located to the east of Twyford Business Centre in Bishop’s Stortford. The level crossing is well used, with the latest estimate of usage being over 100 pedestrians per day. The volume of usage, the number of trains, and the proximity to Bishop’s Stortford station all contribute to the risk score at the level crossing, which is one of the highest ranked on Anglia Route. We have therefore been investigating a possible scheme for diversion of the public footpath that would allow the level crossing to close.

 I attach an overview plan, and a draft drawing, showing Network Rail’s proposal: the footpath crossing will be extinguished, and a new footpath (possibly upgraded to cycle track) will run alongside the eastern railway boundary on Network Rail’s land, linking in with the towpath.

Twford Road Proposed layout

Twyford Road overview

The diversionary route will be step free, and will create additional opportunities for circular walks in the area, as currently there is no connection between Twyford Road and the towpath.

 I would be grateful to receive any comments you may have on this proposal. An initial response within 28 days would be appreciated, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.

Steve.Day@networkrail.co.uk

 Yours faithfully

Steve Day

Liability Negotiations Adviser (Anglia & South East)

STE Technical Services

14 Comments

  1. Rosalind Heggie
    21/04/2015

    As a resident of Hugh Villas and a dog owner and keen walker I would be devastated to lose this path, the only other option I can see is using the door through the Baptist Church but I want to be able to access the lovely field that we can access through the level crossing.
    PLease send me the alternative map!!

  2. Jeremy Wicks
    21/04/2015

    I use this level crossing more than once a week.
    It gives direct access to Twyford Bury Lane and the meadow adjoining the navigation, avoiding the busy London Road.
    I don’t understand how the risk weighting system works but surely if over 100 people a day use the crossing without incident it isn’t as dangerous as your risk rating suggests? Is this a theoretical exercise or do you actually make a practical assessment on site?
    The proximity of the station means that many of the trains are travelling well below top speed, there is plenty of visibility in both directions , consequently I find the approaching trains very easy to detect.
    My experience is that it much safer to cross this line than it is to cross London Road, and I feel less exposed to risk crossing here than walking along a footpath next to a very busy road.

  3. Barbara Murray
    30/04/2015

    I moved to Twyford Road in 1992 and have been using this crossing regularly since then. Currently, I use it at least twice a day, sometimes more.
    Having read the 2 previous comments, I wholly support and agree with them. I meet many people on my walks who all use this crossing. This suggests it is a busy and much-used footpath.
    In terms of safety I want to say that many things in modern are potentially dangerous but are we going to close, ban, eliminate all these things because of this? I feel certain that more people are killed and injured in cars than on the railway. Are we going to get rid of cars in case someone kills or injures themselves? Of course not!
    Most of us are sensible, thoughtful people who understand potential dangers and follow the rules and procedures to be able to go about our daily lives safely. This applies to every single aspect of life, surely?
    In terms of railway crossings, I have found a few facts and figures from a Parliamentary Report on this exact subject:

    “House of Commons Transport Committee
    Safety at level crossings
    Eleventh Report of Session 2013–14 Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 24 February 2014

    1. Nine people died in accidents at level crossings in Great Britain in 2012-13: four pedestrians or cyclists and five occupants of road vehicles. In addition, there were seven major injuries, 53 reported minor injuries and 17 cases of shock or trauma. There were more fatalities in 2012-13 than in the previous year but the long-term trend shows an overall decrease, from 11.9 fatalities per year in 2000–2009 down to 7.0 fatalities per year in 2010-13.2 Excluding suicides and trespass, level crossings accounted for one half of the fatalities on the railway in the period from 2008-09 to 2012-13.”

    Out of a total of 6,447 various types of railway crossings,
    2,547 are Footpath crossings.

    The number of fatalities and injuries seem rather small in comparison to the number of potential dangerous crossings, don’t you think?

  4. Mrs R KITCHENERR
    02/05/2015

    I totally agree with the above comments I walk my dog every day and if everybody used there eyes there would be no problems I can not see any reason that this crossing should be changed in any way

  5. Barbara Murray
    02/05/2015

    Come on folks!!! You simply MUST use your voices. I have met loads of walkers who use this crossing. PLEASE add your comments!

  6. Janet Flack
    03/05/2015

    We live in Twyford Road and use the crossing at least twice a day to walk our dog. We would be extremely disappointed to lose access to the lane and the field and wholeheartedly agree with the comments above. If the crossing is thought to be unsafe for us all to use can’t we have a bridge?

  7. Maggie Sheils
    05/05/2015

    When I had a dog I used this crossing daily going to Pig Lane and back along the towpath. I no longer have a dog but this is still a favourite part of short or longer walks. The visibility of approaching trains is good and they can also be heard. I rarely walk this way without seeing other people using this route. It would be a loss to many people if this crossing was closed.

  8. Peter Carr
    07/05/2015

    I’ve lived round here long enough to remember when it was a proper level crossing, for vehicles. For heaven’s sake, if it’s a hazard (which I doubt – I don’t remember reading about any incidents there, unlike the crossings to the north of Stortford, and at Elsenham), put a footbridge up, as has been done there. It’s not rocket science. Why should the wishes of the railway to take the cheapo option always take precedence?

  9. Mrs S Wells
    07/05/2015

    I use this crossing on average 4 times a week.
    I work on the Twyford Estate and use it to do a lovely circular walk that is timed perfectly to my lunch break.

    I would be really sad to see this crossing go and agree wholeheartedly with all the previous users comments.

    Surely building a bridge would be a more cost effective option than laying a new footpath, putting in bollards and purchasing the land?

  10. Kim Shaw
    07/05/2015

    I use this crossing at least three times a week as part of a really pleasant circular walk over fields and footpaths. PLEASE BUILD A BRIDGE. It doesn’t have to be like the four lane blue and yellow megastructure a little further down the line; it could be just 2 way:we could cope. Also, PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: one day the field by the river will be built on. Wouldn’t it be better for future residents to cross a bridge and walk / cycle into town rather than have to get out their cars and drive round?

  11. David J Thorne
    15/05/2015

    I have lived in Nelson Road for 73 years & have used this crossing for @ least 60 years. I remember when the crossing was manned by Mr Moxham & vehicular traffic used the crossing. Do Not CLOSE this crossing. I still use this crossing on a regular basis we keep being told to Exercise this is one way I can do this my route is across this crossing through the fields to Pig Lane returning along the River then home

  12. Tim Byrne
    29/05/2015

    I use this crossing about five times a week. It has good views of oncoming trains so there seems little point in diverting what is a well used crossing with few risks.

  13. Ken Rands
    05/11/2015

    There are a great many exclusively foot/cycle crossings between Stortford and London. While there have been accidents (excluding suicides) these have been few and commonly avoidable. I cannot recall a single accident at the Twyford crossing in the 40 years that I have been a user of the facility. There are good sight lines in each direction, both for the train drivers and users. There are whistle boards which the drivers are required to notice and to react to; line speeds are restricted by Network Rail at this point. IF there are concerns for safety at Network Rail these surely are more suitably addressed by proximity-controlled warning lights and klaxons.
    I hope that Network Rail publish the both the methodology and the assessment which resulted in the “A” category rating which has been attributed to the crossing.

  14. Ken Rands
    05/11/2015

    Oooops ! My comment SHOULD have read “…between Cambridge and London”)

    K R

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