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New Stone footbridge plans submitted

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: December 09, 2012

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PLANS to close a Stone level crossing and replace it with a footbridge are on the cards again just months after being thrown out by Stafford Borough Council.

Network Rail has resubmitted an application to the council to build a stepped footbridge at the Whitebridge Lane crossing which would result in the closure of the current ground level crossing.

The footbridge is needed to reduce safety risks on the railway, Network Rail has said. The crossing is used by people accessing the nearby housing and industrial estates.

Currently pedestrians have to open metal gates to cross the line and there have been several “near misses” in recent years, including an incident in May this year involving a train and a couple with a young child.

But in July Stafford Borough Council refused planning permission for a footbridge with ramps because of concerns it would impact on the site’s Crossing Cottage, a Grade II listed building.

Local residents also objected to the appearance of the proposed bridge, describing it as a “metal monstrosity”.

The town council had said they understood the need for a safer crossing and asked Network Rail for alternative designs.

Network Rail said it has “amended the scheme to consist of a stepped footbridge only”.

Ramps could be attached to the structure in the future if needed, it added in its design statement submitted to the council.

“The views of the footbridge will be broken by the existing light industrial buildings to the west and a cluster of proposed vegetation to the east.

“It is considered that the proposal will not result in a material detrimental effect upon the openness of the green belt.”

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