£3.2m rail bridge opens to public

Braintree and Witham Times: £3.2m rail bridge opens to public £3.2m rail bridge opens to public

A bridge built to replace a dangerous level crossing has opened to the public.

The crossing at Motts Lane, Witham, opened last week over the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) after being built for £3.2million.

It replaces a level crossing where factory worker Michal Majzner died last January after being struck by a 100mph train.

The crossing had been earmarked for closure for more than a decade, but only closed finally on Christmas Eve once Network Rail had begun constructing the bridge.

It is one of six new bridge being built in Essex as part of a Network Rail drive to close 500 level crossings nationwide in the next five years.

Braintree Council contributed £500,000 towards the cost of the bridge, which links Witham town centre with the Eastways Business Park.

To mark the opening, members of the taskforce which aims to improve the region’s railways visited the bridge last Friday.

Witham MP Priti Patel said: "Improving our rail network is a key economic priority for the whole region and today's meeting shows that MPs, businesses and commuters are working together to achieve this with one voice through the taskforce.”

The Rail Taskforce, made up of politicians, businesses and user groups, was established last year by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with the aim of devising a strategic plan for the GEML.

It is hoped journey times from London to Norwich will be reduced from 120 minutes to 90 minutes.

Ms Patel said: “Progress is being made and by the end of the year we will have a plan ready which will be used to influence the future of the rail franchise and future investment decisions.”

Comments (7)

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1:59pm Fri 4 Apr 14

The Stinker Returns says...

It is a huge beast. Does anyone know how far one has to walk to make the crossing in total if you don't use the steps and walk up and down the slopes?
It is a huge beast. Does anyone know how far one has to walk to make the crossing in total if you don't use the steps and walk up and down the slopes? The Stinker Returns
  • Score: 1

2:00pm Fri 4 Apr 14

keith_l says...

It does not link the town centre with the business park. It links the back end of a housing estate with the business park. Can't the BWT even look at a map to get simple facts right.

In additon, why doesn't the article mention that the bridge cost over 2 million instead of about 0.75 million, beacuse the route is designated as a bridleway, despite te fact that there is nowhere nearby to ride a horse, and the continuation of the route is a muddy footpath inaccessible for most of the year?

They even had to install "mounting steps" so that you can get back on your horse having led it over the bridge!

If the people who campaigned for a bridleway specification bridge had not blocked the previous plans for a normal footbridge, we would have had it five years ago and at least one life would have been saved.
It does not link the town centre with the business park. It links the back end of a housing estate with the business park. Can't the BWT even look at a map to get simple facts right. In additon, why doesn't the article mention that the bridge cost over 2 million instead of about 0.75 million, beacuse the route is designated as a bridleway, despite te fact that there is nowhere nearby to ride a horse, and the continuation of the route is a muddy footpath inaccessible for most of the year? They even had to install "mounting steps" so that you can get back on your horse having led it over the bridge! If the people who campaigned for a bridleway specification bridge had not blocked the previous plans for a normal footbridge, we would have had it five years ago and at least one life would have been saved. keith_l
  • Score: 6

2:05pm Fri 4 Apr 14

The Stinker Returns says...

Good grief - I would never want to ride a horse over it. How stupid.
Good grief - I would never want to ride a horse over it. How stupid. The Stinker Returns
  • Score: 2

7:02pm Fri 4 Apr 14

DaveWH says...

Better than being killed, like I nearly was about 20 years ago - a very frightening experience
Better than being killed, like I nearly was about 20 years ago - a very frightening experience DaveWH
  • Score: 3

11:22pm Fri 4 Apr 14

OMPITA [Intl] says...

As a mere simpleton who still thinks in terms of £sd meaning Pounds, Shillings and Pence – and not some dodgy hallucinogenic drug – I have to confess that £3.2m seems an enormous sum to spend on what is after all an apparently relatively simple prefabricated structure, without – it would seem – the complication of any significant novel Research and Development costs to pay for along the line.

However, so be it, we lesser mortals must place our trust and faith in the ‘Great and the Good’ having done their sums and ensured that we have been served with good contractual value for money and so on.

I note however that the niggling issue of the preservation of the ‘ancient rights’ of horse riders still bedevils public opinion in some quarters. It is abundantly clear to anyone who cares to read the RAIB report into the tragic accident in which Michal Majzner lost his life in January last year that the lobbying for continuation of Equestrian Rider Rights at this crossing was the root cause of increased costs and extended timescale for this project. Without this totally unnecessary objection it seems to me that a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists would have been in place long before January 2013 - and Michal Majzner would still be with us today.

I hope those ‘planners’ who couldn’t get their act together during the 2009 to 2012 era, and who I feel bear the moral responsibility for the ‘screwing up’ the procedures relating to the failed application to extinguish the bridleway rights are not themselves basking in the glory of completion celebrations. That really would be a step too far.

A bit more commitment to common sense and a bit less pandering to the inane ramblings of idiots protesting for the rights of (virtually non-existent) horse riders might have given us all a lot more to celebrate on this auspicious occasion. I just hope the few nuisance antagonists who so mischievously sought to disrupt the progress of this much needed public safety enhancement can look back with pride on their efforts.

Sleep well Bhudeeka. I hope that you are proud of your insensitive comments published in BWT on 15th and 17th July 2013. I trust we will have the pleasure of seeing you on your trusty steed clip clopping over the new bridge now that the taxpayer has stumped up so much extra cash just to accommodate the odd dobbin that has to cross the track? Somehow I think not!
As a mere simpleton who still thinks in terms of £sd meaning Pounds, Shillings and Pence – and not some dodgy hallucinogenic drug – I have to confess that £3.2m seems an enormous sum to spend on what is after all an apparently relatively simple prefabricated structure, without – it would seem – the complication of any significant novel Research and Development costs to pay for along the line. However, so be it, we lesser mortals must place our trust and faith in the ‘Great and the Good’ having done their sums and ensured that we have been served with good contractual value for money and so on. I note however that the niggling issue of the preservation of the ‘ancient rights’ of horse riders still bedevils public opinion in some quarters. It is abundantly clear to anyone who cares to read the RAIB report into the tragic accident in which Michal Majzner lost his life in January last year that the lobbying for continuation of Equestrian Rider Rights at this crossing was the root cause of increased costs and extended timescale for this project. Without this [I suggest] totally unnecessary objection it seems to me that a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists would have been in place long before January 2013 - and Michal Majzner would still be with us today. I hope those ‘planners’ who couldn’t get their act together during the 2009 to 2012 era, and who I feel bear the moral responsibility for the ‘screwing up’ the procedures relating to the failed application to extinguish the bridleway rights are not themselves basking in the glory of completion celebrations. That really would be a step too far. A bit more commitment to common sense and a bit less pandering to the inane ramblings of idiots protesting for the rights of (virtually non-existent) horse riders might have given us all a lot more to celebrate on this auspicious occasion. I just hope the few nuisance antagonists who so mischievously sought to disrupt the progress of this much needed public safety enhancement can look back with pride on their efforts. Sleep well Bhudeeka. I hope that you are proud of your insensitive comments published in BWT on 15th and 17th July 2013. I trust we will have the pleasure of seeing you on your trusty steed clip clopping over the new bridge now that the taxpayer has stumped up so much extra cash just to accommodate the odd dobbin that has to cross the track? Somehow I think not! OMPITA [Intl]
  • Score: 5

10:33am Mon 7 Apr 14

The Stinker Returns says...

I walked it twice on Saturday. I would not want to lead a horse over it because of the echo noise which would frighten most horses. It is massive and eerily empty and echoey in the middle of nowhere. And it doesn't really lead to anywhere major either.
I walked it twice on Saturday. I would not want to lead a horse over it because of the echo noise which would frighten most horses. It is massive and eerily empty and echoey in the middle of nowhere. And it doesn't really lead to anywhere major either. The Stinker Returns
  • Score: 0

11:57am Mon 7 Apr 14

keith_l says...

The Stinker Returns wrote:
I walked it twice on Saturday. I would not want to lead a horse over it because of the echo noise which would frighten most horses. It is massive and eerily empty and echoey in the middle of nowhere. And it doesn't really lead to anywhere major either.
I wouldn't say thit it doesn't lead anywhere - it provides an acceptable walking or cycling route from a large housing estate (Cypress Road / Forest Road) to Eastways and Freebournes industrial parks. It is even walkable from the Rickstones estate.

Think how much more town centre congetsion there would be if all those people drove to work.
[quote][p][bold]The Stinker Returns[/bold] wrote: I walked it twice on Saturday. I would not want to lead a horse over it because of the echo noise which would frighten most horses. It is massive and eerily empty and echoey in the middle of nowhere. And it doesn't really lead to anywhere major either.[/p][/quote]I wouldn't say thit it doesn't lead anywhere - it provides an acceptable walking or cycling route from a large housing estate (Cypress Road / Forest Road) to Eastways and Freebournes industrial parks. It is even walkable from the Rickstones estate. Think how much more town centre congetsion there would be if all those people drove to work. keith_l
  • Score: 1

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