Residents will have recently received a petition flyer from the MP NE Hampshire, Ranil Jayawardena, regarding the provision of a footbridge at Bramley level crossing. Bramley Parish Council wish to make it very clear that there has been no contact with Mr Jayawardena for many years. Bramley Parish Council has consulted with the Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (BDBC) Chief Executive Officer, and he confirms that they are NOT taking any action.
There are a number of points to consider about the footbridge Mr Jayawardena proposes:
- The last time Mr Jayawardena proposed such a footbridge, it was a steep stepped bridge, which is very much NON inclusive; ie, people with disabilities, mobility issues, pushchairs and young children would be, by design, excluded. This would be against BDBC’s and Network Rail’s inclusivity policies and also against the views of many responsible and morally concerned residents. Bramley Parish Council has made it clear that it would not support a non-inclusive bridge.
- It is claimed that there have been a number of accidents and fatalities over the years at the level crossing. It is true that there have been a few accidents, but these have been due more to careless driving than with any issue with the crossing itself. Any accident must be taken seriously but also the causes must be taken into consideration.
- The last sad and regrettably fatal incident at Bramley Station was back in 1974, and occurred on the railway line between the platforms at Bramley Station. See this Hansard reference
- Network Rail has carried out a number of safety studies, and has not identified the Bramley crossing as anything more than a medium risk level crossing.
Whilst Bramley Parish Council is not against a footbridge in principle (as noted in the minutes of the PC meeting held on 17th November 2014), it opposed the last footbridge project proposed in 2014/15 due to the accessibility issues. Go to this link for historical facts of this proposal