'Dangerous' Grange-over-Sands rail crossing could be closed

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One of Cumbria's "most dangerous" rail crossings could finally be closed.

Network Rail has confirmed it is to request the closure of the crossing over the railway at Bailey Lane, Grange-over-Sands. It said it still poses "a real risk".

The firm said it would contact Cumbria County Council to request the crossing be shut permanently.

A three-year-old girl was killed in 1988 and there have been a number of recent "near misses".

A £1.3m pedestrian underpass was constructed in 2006 to replace the level crossing.

Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: "Despite making safety improvements at Bailey Lane and providing an alternative route, this crossing is still well used and represents a real risk to those people who continue to use it."

'Wandering' along

Peter Robinson has lived close to the crossing for 25 years and welcomes the move to close it.

Mr Robinson, who has a keen interest in trains and is chairman of the Furness Line Community Rail Partnership, said: "We've seen an awful lot of dangerous behaviour on the crossing - people wandering up the line picking blackberries, chasing dogs and wheelchairs being pushed out with a train in sight.

"Perhaps the most dangerous is people engrossed on their mobile phones, not aware of anything else at all."

Network Rail said a survey found the crossing was used by more than 4,000 people over nine days this summer, including children and people with bikes and mobility scooters.

In September, a train travelling at 50mph came within 100 yards of striking a pedestrian.

The plan has been backed by South Lakes MP Tim Farron, who said: "This crossing is one of the most dangerous in the region and the sooner we can make it safer, the better."

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