Diversion plans in line for rail crossing

Safety campaigners at the rail crossing in Lightcliffe
Safety campaigners at the rail crossing in Lightcliffe

Proposals for a diversion around a dangerous rail crossing in Lightcliffe could soon be finalised by council officials and Network Rail.

Concerns were raised after a number of deaths on the railway crossings in 2014 with ward councillors calling for safety measures to be introduced.

However, discussions have taken place over the last year and final plans are being drawn up for a safe way to cross the tracks.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Councillor Barry Collins, said: “Following the tragic incidents at pedestrian level crossings in Hipperholme and at Lightcliffe Golf Course, Network Rail has approached Calderdale Council with proposals to divert the public footpaths. This is in line with Network Rail’s national policy of pursuing closure of such level crossings to reduce risk to the public.

“Network Rail is currently negotiating with landowners at both locations with a view to agreeing alternative routes.

“The council has not yet received formal applications to divert the public footpaths.

“When we receive these, we will assess the proposals and consult the public and user groups.”

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.

Councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperhome/Lightcliffe) said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee of Lightcliffe Golf Club for working positively with Network Rail and the Council, in finding a solution, to improve pedestrian safety across the Calder Valley Rail line, which cuts through the golf course.

“I recently walked the proposed new footpath diversion with a number club members.

“The diversion has been worked upon and put forward by Lightcliffe Golf Club in conjunction with Network Rail and Calderdale Council, which will be subject to consultation in due course.

“I feel it is essential that the existing pedestrian crossing across the rail line is closed as soon as the new footpath has been constructed,” added Coun Kirton.