BY ANTONY HOPKER
Campaigners fighting plans to
replace a Coventry level crossing with a road bridge say they are
hopeful that the government will throw out Railtrack’s application.
Members of the Bridge Action
Group in Westwood Heath and Tile Hill joined city councillors and
Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham on a visit to Transport Minister
Keith Hill earlier this week.
They told the minister and
civil servants of their frustrations at not being properly consulted
by Railtrack over the changes.
Railtrack want to close the
level crossings at Tile Hill and Canley stations because track
improvements will increase the barriers’ “downtime”.
They have applied to the
government for permission to build a footbridge at Canley and a road
bridge at Tile Hill.
But campaigners say they have
not been fully consulted about the changes and argue that Railtrack
have not demonstrated that they have considered a full range of
Studies by the rail firm admit
that there will be more traffic using Cromwell Lane as a result. But
council officers say the changes will have a far wider impact, and
this has not been addressed.
Vic Pearce, of the Bridge
Action Group, which was formed last year when Railtrack’s proposals
were announced, said he was hopeful that the government would step in.
“The minister has to be
neutral, but he asked some good questions and I could see that he
was taking in what we were saying.
Mr Pearce, who lives in Trevor
Close, Westwood Heath, said he was not fighting the proposals solely
because he lived near the station.
“We want to be sure that
Railtrack have considered all the options.
“Whenever we have
approached Railtrack either as a group or as individuals they have
been very dismissive.
wasn’t a consultation at all – it was an exhibition, trying to
justify their proposals.”
The group has drawn up a
series of ideas to solve the problem of cars crossing the railway line
without causing traffic chaos.
a bridge or tunnel at Mitchell Avenue in Canley and a footbridge
at Tile Hill.
the crossing in use but adding a footbridge
a footbridge but no crossing at Tile Hill
for other suitable sites for a bridge or tunnel
Mr Pearce said:
want to make sure that everyone’s concerns are identified and taken
into account by the relevant authorities, rather than simply say we
don’t the bridge.”