Village community would be destroyed if level crossings at Queen Adelaide were closed, residents warn


Plans to close one or more of the three crossings at Queen Adelaide would destroy a community by cutting it in half, residents have warned.

The map shows the Queen Adelaide level crossings which are being discussed between the community and Network Rail and Cambridgeshire County Council
– Credit: Archant

The idea of ​​closure is for safety as part of plans to increase rail freight on the lines, but Network Rail insists these are the early stages of information gathering.

Queen Adelaide is among the top 20 zones in the country for dodgers, hence safety fears with more rail freight slated for the lines, according to a former local adviser, who warned any closure would devastate village life .

A resident who cycled to his caregiver job at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust in Ely said it would cut the community in half, and for some, a 200-meter walk to the village hall events would turn into a five mile drive.

For others, a two mile trip to Ely would increase to 12 miles.

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Former councilor and parliamentary candidate Rupert Moss-Eccardt said that in 2016 the county council issued a tender to examine the impact of the crossing closures.

He said: “I want to avoid the situation where town halls are held just to say they had a consultation and then go ahead and shut the lines down anyway.

“The consultation aimed to close one, two or three lines. To do so would destroy our community.

Social worker Mark Shelton said he traveled two miles to work in Ely, but if the crossing continued to be closed his commute would increase to five miles.

“I am part of the town hall committee of the village. Closing the crossing will cut the village in two, ”he said.

“Residents who walk 200 to 300 meters to get to an event in the hall will have to walk five miles to Ely, along Queen Adelaide Way, back into the village.

“They won’t do that. I’m afraid the village hall has to close.

“It is an unacceptable price to pay for more rail freight. I am sure road traffic will be prepared to wait a few more minutes while the gates are down. “

Queen Adelaide Way is sagging and is full of potholes and already takes a lot of heavy truck transport, he added.

The meeting hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council and Network Rail was heralded as an ‘engagement event’ to understand how residents and businesses use the roads in this region.

A county council spokesperson said there was a broader aspiration to see an increase in train services to improve connectivity across the county and beyond.

“To increase the number of services they need, you have to look at the impact that more trains would have on level crossings. “

Cllr Ian Bates, Chairman of the County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee, said: “We want to have a conversation with local residents and businesses about the impact this will have and understand how people are using it. The area.

“At this early stage, we want to gain the broadest possible understanding of how people travel in the region. Their feedback will help inform future transportation solutions.

Meliha Duymaz, Acting Managing Director of Network Rail’s Anglia Line, said: “The Ely region is a major bottleneck for the rail network and for future growth.

“Any future increase in the number of freight and passenger trains would have a ripple effect on level crossings in terms of safety and increased traffic.

“We want to work closely with the residents of Queen Adelaide to understand how this affects their daily lives today and how it impacts them in the future.

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