Graham Stuart MP hosted a meeting for the public to make their anger known at Network Rail’s decision to close without notice the England Springs level crossing just outside Beverley, used by over 150 people a day.
Working with Sue Crowther, the organiser of the Open England Springs Facebook group, Graham was present to speak at the event, attended by around 50 people.
The mood was primarily one of frustration, with residents unable to cross the track, impeding travel to work, school and leisure.
Graham spoke about how he had met with Network Rail the day before and pressed them on the need to engage with the community.
Councillors Kerri Harold and David Elvidge, alongside Minster and Woodmansey Ward Candidate Harry Bulmer, attended in support and committed to help the residents in any way they can.
Network Rail, acknowledging that it has not undertaken a proper consultation as required by its own guidelines for closing level crossings, has agreed to meet again with Graham, Cllr Kerri Harold and Cllr David Elvidge to present options for maintaining the crossing.
According to Graham’s survey, which has seen over 370 responses, hundreds of people regularly use the crossing and it is an important part of people’s daily lives.
Commenting, Graham Stuart MP said, “I wish I could have been involved in this earlier, but it’s been a pleasure to do my bit to assist Sue Crowther, her Facebook group and the wider community.
“In Friday’s meeting with Network Rail, I was able to make the point that residents have had the rug pulled from under their feet, and I’m looking forward to meeting them again in a few weeks to find out what will be done to put this matter right.
“I’m doing what I can to make sure Network Rail listen to what everyone is saying – which is to allow people to cross this track.”
Sue Crowther, organiser of Open England Springs Facebook group said, “The meeting was only the beginning.
“Not only myself but everyone is extremely angry about this closure of the crossing.
“We are so grateful that our MP Graham Stuart is with us and pushing this case.
“For all the users of this popular walk through, most of all so the homeowners of the railway cottages, this crossing has to be opened and preferably the sooner the better.”
Cllr Kerri Harold, East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor (Minster and Woodmansey Ward) and Woodmansey Parish Council Chair said, “Following both the public meeting with residents and the meeting with Network Rail, I am confident that we can reach a resolution through closer working and listening to the views of local residents and stakeholders.
“Woodmansey Parish Council is also keen to engage with Network Rail to come to a locally amicable solution.
“I can't thank Sue enough for her campaign to highlight this issue; it really does prove that we are stronger together!”
Cllr David Elvidge, Cabinet Member for Community Empowerment, said, “I can’t think of a greater example of the community coming together, working with their elected representatives, united in their purpose of having their voices heard and getting the result everyone wants.”