Moor Bridge crossing closed down to prevent further deaths
A CROSSING where five people have died in four years is to remain closed for at least the next six months.
Network Rail has obtained a temporary closure order for the crossing at Moor Bridge, near Bestwood VIllage, after the death of man, who was hit by a train on February 9.
It will remain closed until at least August and bosses hope to extend it beyond that.
The crossing has gained a reputation as a dangerous place in recent years, after the deaths of five people.
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On November 28, Lindsey Inger, 13, of Bulwell, died after being hit by a tram on the crossing's tram lines.
Four years ago, Jean Hoggart, 65, and her grandson Michael Dawson, 7, died there after being hit by a train.
And in September 2009, Janet Sawyer, 52, of West Hallam, Derbyshire, was killed after deliberately stepping out in front of a train. Plans to build a bridge over the train and tram lines at the site, also known as the Bayles and Wylies crossing, are set to be submitted in the next couple of weeks.
But the closure order is likely to expire before the bridge can be built, and Network Rail bosses are adamant they will get it extended.
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."
Network Rail says that once the application has gone in, it will hold consultation meetings at which designs will be revealed and people in the area can give their opinions.
The firm says it is acting as fast as possible to prevent further tragedies.
The closure of the crossing means pedestrians will have to walk a few hundred yards to the road bridge at the junction of Hucknall Road and Hucknall Lane to get across the tracks.
But Hucknall councillor Chris Baron said safety was paramount.
He said: "I'm fully behind this six-month closure order. It is absolutely necessary.
"We are expecting the planning application for the footbridge to go in soon but this will take time, so the closure is the only way of preventing further tragedies in the meantime.
"I've tried to explain to people that if you had a road junction where five people had been killed, the highways authority would have done something about it. The same goes for a rail crossing."
Hucknall resident Mark Jones, 44, agreed.
He said: "Clearly, something has to be done and you can't wait for however long it will take for the bridge to be built."