Newly elected Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, today used her first question in the House of Commons to call for ministerial action to secure improvements to the railway crossing on West Dyke Road.
Following more than 15 breakdowns and closures over the last year, Anna has called on transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to intervene with Network Rail and bring forward promised upgrades to the crossing.
“Network Rail promised to upgrade the rail crossing on West Dyke Road but have not given a definite timescale. I want to see this work brought forward. The number of crossing failures and closures over the last year are unacceptable.
“They have a massive impact on the town centre, affecting small businesses and causing huge inconvenience to bus users as routes are diverted.
“I will be taking up the offer of a meeting with the rail minister as this situation can’t be allowed to drag on. Network Rail need to get moving on this and give us a definite timescale for the upgrade.”
A Network Rail spokesman said:
“We are fully aware of the ongoing problems at West Dyke Road level crossing and are sympathetic towards those impacted by closures.
“During high winds, the barriers become a hazard and must be closed to keep the public and staff safe, as well as keeping services running.
“We have carried out repairs to the crossing in recent months, including a new battery, a new motor and new wheels as well as halving the size of the slats on the barrier to reduce wind resistance.
“We are in the process of designing a new, bespoke, interim barrier system for West Dyke crossing which, subject to legal agreement, we hope will be installed within the next 10 months, rather than the previously announced date of 2018.”