Village must remain split in half due to safety fears

Plumpton level crossing, work started SUS-150930-160542008
Plumpton level crossing, work started SUS-150930-160542008

Network Rail has refused to re-open a road through Plumpton Green despite a councillor launching a petition which was signed by 800 people in just a few days.

Network Rail closed Station Road at the village’s level crossing on September 25, five days before its application to replace the gates with automated barriers was rejected by Lewes District Council. The community fought hard against the replacement of the traditional and historic gates.

Councillor for the district council Sarah Osborne has launched a petition asking it to reopen the road ‘as a matter of urgency’, and work with the local community on the longer term future of the gates.

She said: “The road closure means the village is sliced in half, with residents being cut off from access to local schools and services, and is especially concerning for those with children and for older and vulnerable residents.”

A Network Rail spokesman said it is writing to residents in an aim to produce a plan that ‘all sides can agree on’.

The spokesman said: “The resignalling work we have done at the site of the level crossing means the road cannot be reopened immediately.

“We are currently conducting a risk assessment to identify what measures need to be put in place to safely reopen the crossing and the road as soon as possible, while we continue to work with the community and the district council to find a safe, long-term solution.”