Tallington level crossing bridge ‘unlikely’ to get funds

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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An MP believes it is “inconceivable” a council will contribute funds towards closing a level crossing and replacing it with a bridge.

Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles met representatives from Network Rail and Lincolnshire County Council on Friday to discuss plans to replace the crossing in Tallington.

The view Mr Boles took from the meeting was that funds for the project would not come from the county council.

He said: “There are various options people have been talking about and I think the minimum price is about £15m and going up from there.

“I didn’t get any sense from Network Rail that they were going to be coming up with that £15m which I think brings us back to a place where we have been for a long time - who’s going to fund it?

“My view is that it is almost inconceivable that Lincolnshire County Council, with all their horrendous pressures on their roads budgets and having funded the Grantham bypass, that they are going to come up with £5m or £10m to fund this.”

Network Rail is carrying out a feasibility study into level crossings across the region, including Tallington, and will launch a public consultation in the new year.

Some residents, including campaigner Ken Otter, have been pushing for a road bridge and bypass to the north of the village. But concern has spread in the last few weeks that the plan was instead to build a bridge to the south, and connect the road in the middle of the village.

Mr Boles said the lack of funding available for the project meant villagers should not be concerned.

He added: “I don’t believe anybody should be worried about this consultation and any particular proposals as there’s no indication from Network Rail that they are going to fund more than a small amount.”

Mr Boles will host a public meeting to discuss issues surrounding the crossing at Tallington Village Hall from 4pm until 5.30pm on Friday, January 10.

Mr Otter, who has been campaigning to close the crossing for years, called on the Department for Transport to contribute to a bridge.

He said it was important the issue was resolved before East Coast Trains introduced extra services on the line through Tallington.