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Anger at Deeping St James level crossing closure

Deeping St James residents at the level crossing in Station Road, which is closed from 5pm to 7am daily while Network Rail carries out maintenance work. Photo: Phil Dilks EMN-140714-111753001

Deeping St James residents at the level crossing in Station Road, which is closed from 5pm to 7am daily while Network Rail carries out maintenance work. Photo: Phil Dilks EMN-140714-111753001

People have expressed their anger at maintenance work at a level crossing that has split their village in half for a month.

Network Rail has been upgrdaging the crossing in Station Road, Deeping St James, since the start of the month.

As a result the barriers have been permanently down, meaning those who live on the east side of the crossing must take a 10-plus mile trip via Deeping St Nicholas to get to shops and services in Market Deeping.

Pam Mansfield runs the Exotic Pet Refuge, which is on the east side of the crossing in Station Road. She is due to hold an open day on Sunday and was worried the crossing closure would mean no-one would be able to get to the vital fundraising event.

She said: “The open days mean everything to us. The majority of the money we take come from those days.”

Many other Deeping St James residents expressed the same concerns and, backed by their county councillor Phil Dilks (Lab), made their point to Network Rail.

Coun Dilks said: “This is a shoddy way to treat a whole community of residents and businesses. It is cavalier to tell a community that in a couple of days their main access road to the outside world will be cut off for almost four weeks. That is simply not long enough to make alternative arrangements.

“Some residents face a 10-mile diversion each morning and night just to get to work and home again, school buses have had to be diverted.”

The work is due to last until July 31. Network Rail officials have this week promised to open the crossing on Sunday to allow access to the Exotic Pet Refuge. A spokesman said the crossing was still open to pedestrians and emergency services.

They added: “We appreciate the diversion in place for other road users is quite long, and apologise for any inconvenience, but it was agreed with the highway authority - Lincolnshire County Council.

“We appreciate the local community’s patience while the work takes place, and if we are able to re-open the crossing before the July 31, we will.”

 

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