Commuters criticise decision to shut Moor Bridge crossing after five deaths
RAIL bosses are facing criticism for their decision to close a crossing on which five people died in four years.
Network Rail has obtained a temporary closure order for the crossing at Moor Bridge, near Bestwood Village, after a man died when he was hit by a train on February 9.
It will remain closed until at least August while a footbridge is installed.
The rail authority acted under pressure from local people and politicians to close the crossing and install a bridge, which it is hoped will be safer for pedestrians.
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But Julie Birch, of Millbank Place, Bestwood Village, says the closure makes life difficult for commuters.
She now faces a 1.3 mile walk around the crossing, which she used to use as shortcut so she could catch a bus from Hucknall to Selston
"I have had to ask for help in getting a car to use from this week as I can not manage to maintain a job and walk that far on top of my normal day," she said.
"I have not needed a vehicle for daily use in the five years I have lived here and I can not really afford to run a vehicle.
"I have sympathy for the families of those people who have lost their lives on the crossing."
Plans to build a bridge over the train and tram lines at the site, also known as the Bayles and Wylies crossing, should be submitted in the next couple of weeks.
Network Rail says it will hold consultation meetings at which designs will be revealed and residents can give opinions.
The firm says it is acting as fast as possible to prevent further tragedies.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "We are grateful for the support of Nottingham City Council in granting a temporary closure of the level crossing for six months.
"This will allow us time to further develop plans for a footbridge to permanently replace the crossing.
"We intend to submit a planning application for the footbridge within a couple of weeks and are working with the local authorities and tram operators Nottingham Express Transit to progress this as quickly as possible."
On November 28, Lindsey Inger, 13, of Bulwell, died after being hit by a tram on the tram lines.
Four years ago, Jean Hoggart, 65, and her grandson Michael Dawson, 7, died after being hit by a train.
And in September 2009, Janet Sawyer, 52, of West Hallam, Derbyshire, was killed after deliberately stepping in front of a train.
Bestwood St Albans Parish Council chairman Denis Beeston wasn't sure whether the crossing should have been closed.
"It has put some time on journeys and I'm hoping they aren't too long getting this bridge done," he said. "
"Any bridge that goes up needs to be done quickly and must be suitable for the elderly and the disabled.
"It must also be made so people cannot throw stones off it at passing vehicles."
Another resident, Jack Ashworth, 59, of Leen Close, understood why people using public transport might find it difficult now the crossing has closed.
"I certainly understand where they are coming from," he said.
"It doesn't affect me because I drive but for the people who are using public transport it's a long walk round to the bridge.
"In my opinion it's hard to understand how these accidental deaths have happened because you have such a clear view both ways."