Fight for Tallington bypass goes on

Network Rail engineers are on their way to fix a level crossing fault reported in Woolram Wygate, Spalding.
Network Rail engineers are on their way to fix a level crossing fault reported in Woolram Wygate, Spalding.
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Campaigners are fighting to convince a council to set aside funds for a bypass that will enable a bridge to be built over a railway.

Many Tallington residents are keen to see an end to the long queues caused by the level crossing on the A1175.

Network Rail is carrying out a study into the feasibility of closing the crossing before more trains are introduced on the line.

The firm wrote to residents last month to say a number of options were being considered. But concern has been raised in the village that while the firm may put up money for a bridge, it is unlikely to pay to link it to the road network.

Members of the Tallington Bypass Action Group and Tallington parish councillors have called on Lincolnshire County Council, the highways authority, to include funding for a bypass in its budget for 2014/15.

A petition signed by more than 130 Tallington residents will be presented to the county council at today’s key budget meeting. The petition calls on councillors to work with Network Rail to fund a bridge and a relief road to the north of the village.

It also urges the authority to reject the possibility of a road to the south of the level crossing, which would pass through the village and could result in homes being demolished.

Network Rail has repeatedly tried to reassure residents that nothing has yet been decided.

A second online petition calling on the council to budget for a bypass this year was started too late to be considered at today’s meeting. It has attracted more than 800 signatures in less than a month.

Campaigner Ken Otter and others have spent a number of days speaking to drivers stopped at the barriers.

Parish council chairman Geoff Mayling sought this week to reassure residents that the fight for the bridge and bypass was still going on.

He said: “We are still active in seeking a solution to the closure of the level crossing.

“We have just written to South Kesteven District Council asking them to lobby Lincolnshire County Council on our behalf to support us.

“We have also written to county council leader Martin Hill saying how disappointed we are with the council’s negative attitude to the crossing closure.

The parish council has been invited to take part in the feasibility study carried out by Network Rail.

Coun Mayling said: “We are quite happy to take part and give local input.

“We understand the feasibility studies should be completed in the summer so come then it should be crunch time with funding.

“We are also contacting neighbouring parish councils to suggest a meeting to provide a co-ordinated approach.”

He added: We understand that Network Rail has some money to contribute. We get the impression it won’t be the full amount, so there will be a shortfall. That will fall on the highways authority.”