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.”