Jo Cox hosts public meeting to discuss level crossing’s future

Jo Cox hosts a public meeting at St Thomas's, BatleyMore than 60 residents attended a meeting hosted by Jo Cox MP to raise concerns and comments on plans to remove the signal box at Howley Street at Batley.

Signalling improvements by Network Rail means the box will be removed. This will cast doubt on the future of the adjacent Lady Anne level crossing, which is controlled by the signal box.

Mrs Cox arranged the consultation following a meeting with Network Rail in Parliament where she raised residents’ concerns.

The Batley & Spen MP said: “This was a very productive meeting and very well attended. Network Rail had the chance to outline their plans and thoughts and residents were able to feedback their concerns, comments and their hopes as the scheme moves forward.

“It is quite clear to me that the crossing is well used although opinion is divided on what exactly should happen there going forward. Nevertheless, residents made some very good and well reasoned arguments that I am confident Network Rail will take on board.”

Lady Anne Crossing at Howley Street, BatleyResidents questioned the reasoning for removing the level crossing and whether it could be maintained with an automated system.

One suggestion is to erect a footbridge in place of the crossing. Residents raised concerns about the design, scale and location of such a bridge and whether it would accommodate horse riders, who at present use the level crossing a great deal.

There were also concerns about loss of access for emergency vehicles, the usage and monitoring data being used by Network Rail and the potential for inconvenience for those seeking to cross between Upper Batley and Soothill.

Mrs Cox added: “I will raise all the issues in writing with Network Rail as well as a series of other questions and concerns that arose.”

Simon Lewis from Network Rail, who made a presentation at the meeting at St Thomas’s Church on Grosvenor Road on Saturday morning, said safety and reducing risk was a driving factor in their thinking.

He said he would feedback all the concerns and comments raised and pledged to hold a follow up meeting to discuss the proposals further.

Mrs Cox thanked everyone who attended and thanked St Thomas’s Church for hosting the meeting.

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