'Dangerous' Wareham railway crossing bridge plan opposed

An artist's impression of the Wareham Station footbridge plan Image copyright Dorset County Council
Image caption Dorset County Council had said the footbridge would "provide a safer, permanent crossing facility"

Revised plans to upgrade a rail footbridge at a "dangerous" level crossing have been opposed by the district council.

Dorset County Council's proposals for the existing Wareham Station footbridge involve creating new step-free ramps up to the bridge at either side.

But Purbeck council said the new plans had "not addressed principle concerns" over its visual impact.

The county council is due to rule on the plans on 14 June.

The level crossing, which was once branded one of the most dangerous in the country, is due to be shut as part of a national programme of closures over safety concerns.

In January, Purbeck District Council described the previous proposals as "harmful" while residents have voiced fears it would effectively cut the town in half by adding more time to journeys across the tracks

"The scheme undoubtedly will have a significant impact upon the character and appearance of the area and the setting of the listed building," it added.

It said amended plans for a 1.8m (5ft 11in) screen adjacent to Station Mews "does not change the fundamental objection to the scheme".

Dorset County Council, which is working with Network Rail on the proposals, had said the revamped footbridge would "provide a safer, permanent crossing facility".

Network Rail previously said the level crossing had more than three times the number of incidents than any other crossing in south west England.

CCTV released in 2009 showed a mother pushing her baby in a pram across the rail line as a train approached.

In 2010, manually operated gates were installed at the crossing as a temporary solution.

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