Highways Act 1980 - Section 119A Rail Crossing Diversion Order
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - Section 53A
Diversion of Public Footpath over Railway between Holts Lane and
Footpath Poulton-le-Fylde 4
Decision Maker: Regulatory Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
A report was presented on the proposed diversion of a public footpath over the Railway between Holts Lane and Footpath Poulton-le-Fylde 4 in Wyre Borough. The length of the existing path proposed to be diverted was shown by a bold continuous line marked as A-B on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers, and the proposed alternative route shown by a bold dashed line and marked A-C-D-E.
An application had been received from Network Rail to divert part of the above mentioned public footpath, in connection with their proposal to replace the Holts Lane level crossing with a stepped footbridge. As a result of electrification works, minimum sighting distances could no longer be achieved looking up and down the line, due to the stanchions and other infrastructure supporting the overhead power lines. It was also highly likely that a train could straddle the level crossing whilst stopped at a signal.
For these reasons, together with the increase in frequency of services and longer trains, some method of mitigation was required to reduce the risk to users of the level crossing.
The Committee noted that Network Rail had explored all alternative options for a permanent means of reducing the risk that the railway crossing presented, and that their preferred option was to close the level crossing and provide a new stepped footbridge. This would ensure that the public could cross the railway safely.
There had been various 'near miss' incidents recorded at the Holts Lane level crossing since 2004, the details of which were provided to the Committee. It was suggested that it was not reasonably practicable to make the crossing safe by any other means, and that there was a justifiable case for constructing a stepped footbridge, and closing and removing the level crossing.
Consultation with the statutory undertakers had been carried out and no objections or adverse comments on the proposal had been received.
(i) That subject to no unsatisfactory responses to the consultations, an Order be made under Section 119A of the Highways Act 1980, to divert part of the public footpath, from the route shown by a bold continuous line and marked A-B on the attached map, to the route shown by a bold dashed line and marked A-C-D-E. That the Order makes provision requiring the operator of the railway to maintain the footpath including both surface and bridge structure pursuant to section 119A(6) of the Highways Act 1980.
(ii) That in the event of no objections being received, the Order be confirmed and in the event of objections being received and not withdrawn, the Order be sent to the Secretary of State and the Authority take a neutral stance with respect to its confirmation.
(iii) That provision be included in the Order such that it is also made under Section 53A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to amend the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in consequence of the coming into operation of the diversion.
Report author: Joanne Lawson
Date of decision: 26/06/2019
Decided at meeting: 26/06/2019 - Regulatory Committee