Diversion plans for railway crossings

Councillor David Kirton stood at the side of the pedestrian level crossing which goes over the rail track at Lower Brear, Hipperholme.

Councillor David Kirton stood at the side of the pedestrian level crossing which goes over the rail track at Lower Brear, Hipperholme.

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Footpath diversions could be introduced at railway crossings across the Calder Valley line under new plans.

Proposals are being explored between Network Rail, Calderdale Council Rights of Way Officer and landowners with a view to diverting the two public footpaths, which currently cross-over the rail line at Lower Brear, Hipperholme, and at Lightcliffe Golf Course.

Calderdale councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said: “After raising my worries and concerns with Network Rail in January 2015 regarding safety for my constituents and ramblers, who use the pedestrian level rail crossings, to cross the Calder Valley railway track, as it passes through the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward, I am pleased that action is now being taken to improve safety.

“I and the whole of the local community were saddened by the news of the tragic loss of life on the crossings, coupled with the trauma brought to local families and friends, and to those train drivers affected by these fatal incidents, over the last few months.

“Anything we can do to prevent this happening again is crucially important.” he added.

“I am pleased that Peter Davies, Footpaths Officer for Brighouse Civic Trust, has given his support to the principle of making diversions to these two footpaths , to improve pedestrian safety for the future,” said Coun Kirton.

The proposals come after a series of deaths across the railway line.

Concerns were raised after 39-year-old Kimberley Needham, from Halifax, was hit by the 6.15pm Manchester to Leeds Northern Rail service close to Hipperholme Tunnel, near Halifax, on Monday, December 29, 2014.

Her death came two weeks after 16-year-old Milena Gagic, who was a sixth form student at Crossley Heath School in Halifax and a former pupil at Brighouse High School, was killed in the same place on December 13.

The Hipperholme teenager’s death was recorded as an accident at the inquest at Calderdale Coroners Court.

In September there was another tragic accident on the railway line as William Roberts, 67, of Lydgate Park, Lightcliffe, was hit by a train at the crossing at Lightcliffe Golf Club.