Network Rail is to upgrade and improve safety at Ashford Bowdler level crossing. The upgrade, which will see the current half barriers replaced by full barriers, is part of a £75 million project to modernise the railway between Newport and Shrewsbury, with new signalling technology installed along the route.
The upgrade is one of a number of possibilities that the company explored in order to improve safety at the crossing. The decision to proceed with the upgrade was taken following a consultation exercise with the local community. As well as the upgrade option, Network Rail also explored the possibility of closing the crossing.
Network Rail held a public meeting in Ashford Bowdler at the beginning of January to present the options and listen to the views of the community. Local residents made it clear that they wanted to retain the level crossing and their preference was for the crossing to be upgraded.
Christine Booth, operations risk advisor for Network Rail, said: “We are developing a £75 million project to modernise the railway between Newport and Shrewsbury with new signalling technology installed along the route. As part of this scheme, we are looking at how we can reduce risk at level crossings in this area.
“There are a number of options available to improve safety, including upgrade and closure. It’s really important that the community have their say on the options and we will always take their views on board.
“After meeting with the community in Ashford Bowdler, we have decided upgrading the crossing is the best option to balance the need of improving safety with the concerns of local residents if the crossing was downgraded or closed.”
Network Rail is committed to improving safety at level crossings, through its closure programme and public information campaigns.