Sue Crowther, organiser of the Open England Springs Facebook group, has vowed to continue her fight to re-open the popular Beverley level crossing.
She is supported by over 400 members of the group, as well as local councillors Kerri Harold, David Elvidge, and council candidate Harry Bulmer and Graham Stuart MP.
Since the popular level crossing was closed without warning by Network Rail at the end of last year, Sue has been at the forefront of pushing for the crossing to be re-opened by organising the residents opposed to the closure and contacting elected representatives.
Minster and Woodmansey Ward Councillor Kerri Harold, a long-time Woodmansey resident, has been working with East Riding Council to amplify the residents’ concerns about this closure.
Following a large public meeting in February and subsequent meetings with Network Rail, Sue, Kerri, David and Graham have no choice but to find new solutions to keep this crossing open.
In two meetings with Network Rail, Councillors Harold and Elvidge made it very clear that the current situation is untenable.
Graham has written to Network Rail to request a copy of the safety report made by Network Rail that led to the closure of the crossing.
Network Rail was eager to say that the crossing could not be re-opened, having been subject to an emergency closure on safety grounds in November 2022.
This followed an October 2020 decision by Network Rail to close the crossing and unknown to the community, to councillors and the MP.
The justification for the closure decision in 2020 was that East Riding of Yorkshire Council was in the early stages of planning a new bridge over the track, slightly further south of England Springs.
The bridge was delayed due to the pandemic, and is currently scheduled to commence construction in 2024, leaving walkers without a crossing until 2025.
Cllr Kerri Harold said, “We are concerned that since 2020 when a safety assessment was undertaken and the bridge was proposed, we have had no updated version to reflect the delay in all development in the area due to the pandemic.
“We would like to see the details of the rationale behind the closure due to perceived health and safety concerns from NR staff.”
David Elvidge, Minster and Woodmansey Ward Councillor and Cabinet Member for Community Empowerment, was shocked that locals had been presented with a fait accompli with the closure.
He said “It’s not right that Network Rail can just close a crossing as popular as England Springs without telling a soul.
“You can rest assured that your local team will be taking this as far as we can, to ensure that the community has its voice.”
Commenting, Graham said: “We all deserve to have our voice, and people in Beverley are losing theirs over the England Springs crossing.
“ It is not acceptable that Network Rail has closed this crossing without telling anyone why. I have been in immediate touch with Network Rail to request the detailed risk assessment and supporting documents so we can come to our own consideration of their decision.”
Sue Crowther, organiser of the Open England Springs Facebook group, said, “Network Rail think they hold all the cards, but I won’t stop fighting this decision which goes against all of us.
“I’m grateful to everyone on the Open England Springs group, and to Kerri, Graham and everyone who has supported me in this.”