A footbridge is to replace a footpath level crossing on a busy section of the West Coast main line where trains travel in excess of 100mph.
Brock level crossing, near Bilsborrow in Lancashire, is the first of 200 crossings that Network Rail is aiming to close before April 2019 on the London North Western (LNW) route which runs from London Euston, through the West Midlands and north west of England, to the Scottish border.
The new bridge will provide a safe way to cross the railway and result in the permanent closure of the level crossing, reducing risk for the many people who use the existing route.
The new footbridge will be formally opened by Jen Olivine, chair of Myerscough and Bilsborrow Parish Council, on Wednesday 16 April at 2.30pm.
Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: “This new footbridge is a positive first step as part of our commitment to close 200 level crossings across the route by 2019.
“The West Coast main line is one of the busiest railways in Europe and trains travel through this area at very high speeds. With safety being at the heart of everything we do as an industry, closing this level crossing is an obvious decision and the new bridge will provide a much safer route across the railway.
“We are in the process of identifying other level crossings to close and will continue to liaise with local authorities, landowners and interested parties up and down the route to continue to make the railway a safer place.”
Jen Olivine, chair of Myerscough and Bilsborrow Parish Council, said: “At long last there is a safe crossing over the railway in Bilsborrow for those walking the footpaths that lead up to Brock Bottoms, providing a gateway to the Forest of Bowland.
“Our thanks go to Network Rail and its contractors, Murphy, which have delivered beyond what we could have expected and with such care and consideration.”
Targeting the closure of 200 level crossings on LNW by April 2019 is part of Network Rail’s national programme to invest £100m over the next five years to close a total of 500 crossings. This will build on the £130m invested by Network Rail since 2010 which has helped to close almost 800 level crossings across Britain.