Level Crossing Upgrades Complete

Westerfield level crossing 16 July 2019
Westerfield level crossing 16 July 2019

Upgrades to four level crossings on the Felixstowe Line are now complete making the railway safer and ready for an increase in rail freight traffic.

The B1077 at Westerfield reopened Monday 15 July after seven weeks marking the completion of level crossing upgrades at Morston Hall, Thorpe Lane, Levington and Westerfield. The work was done as part of a £60 million scheme to increase capacity on the Felixstowe Line and increase safety at the crossings.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said “The completion of this vital work will provide a better and safer branch line for passengers and those using the crossings in Suffolk and we thank everyone for their patience while the work has been carried out. Given the recent incidents at these crossings over the last year, it’s so important that all drivers pay attention to the dangers of using any level crossing and ensure that they get to their destination safely.”

Earlier this month a motorist was convicted for recklessly putting himself and his 18-month old daughter in danger by swerving around the level crossing barriers at Trimley St Martin in June 2018; both miraculously survived a crash with a freight train.

Stephen Webster, Inspector, British Transport Police (BTP), said “It’s really pleasing to see that Network Rail have made significant investment in these level crossings in order to improve safety for users. Level crossings when used correctly are perfectly safe, unfortunately though some people choose to take risks and compromise their safety on crossings.”

The four crossings have been upgraded from half-barrier to full-barrier with obstacle detection systems installed at three and CCTV at one. The upgrades provide additional safety measures for both motorists and pedestrians.

The crossing upgrades were needed as the number of trains going to and from the Port of Felixstowe is set to increase following the installation of additional tracks and new signalling systems.