Help the Ramblers with costs
Over the last year Ramblers volunteers in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk have been busy responding to Network Rail’s proposed plans to close 130 level crossings across East Anglia. Thanks to their hard work, 18 have already been removed from the closure programme.
These 18 crossings are now safe from closure, but we’re still working to ensure that the proposals for the other 112 crossings give walkers the best possible outcome.
The first public inquiry into these closures, for Essex, Hertfordshire and London Borough of Havering, starts on 18 October 2017. Ramblers volunteers and local residents will be giving evidence at the inquiry to ensure that the views of walkers and local people are taken into account.
Help us challenge closures that aren't suitable for walkers by donating to our legal fund.
Legal cases can easily run into triple figures - which is a huge challenge for charities like us. Your donation could help pay for expert legal representation to support our local volunteers and show how important these local paths are for their community.
We know that Network Rail is concerned about the safety of level crossings, but we feel that they haven’t properly considered the safety of people walking along diversions on busy roads instead. We think there are other ways of making crossings safer, such as installing bridges and warning lights.
Lots of local people use these level crossings every day – to get to work, shops, school. These closures will sever local footpath networks and communities.
The Cambridgeshire inquiry will start on 28 November and the Suffolk inquiry will start early in 2018.
Timeline for the Essex inquiry:
9 August - pre inquiry meeting
18 October - first day of the inquiry
24 November - expected end of the inquiry
Autumn 2018 - final decision by the Secretary of State for Transport expected.
How we’ve protected our rights of way network so far
In February Vanessa Griffiths, Ramblers chief executive, met with Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia region, to discuss our concerns about the closures and the way the consultation was carried out.
We will continue working collaboratively with Network Rail to ensure that any path diversions resulting from crossing closures, now and in the future, are safe and suitable for walkers.
Other path-user organisations, such as the British Horse Society and Open Spaces Society, have also expressed concerns about the closures. Together, we’ve been speaking to local authorities about their response to Network Rail’s plans. Many of our committed Ramblers volunteers have also been gathering support from their local MPs.
Thank you to everyone who signed and shared our petition
It received a huge amount of support. This helped show Network Rail that we represent walkers and that we can all benefit from working together.