Footbridge could be built at busy level crossing

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DEVELOPERS could pay for a new railway footbridge if the go-ahead is given to a new housing estate.

Barratt David Wilson Homes wants to build 191 homes at Manor Farm, in Denvilles, Havant, in the green gap between the town and Emsworth.

One of the major issues concerning residents is the impact the extra cars will have on the already-congested Southleigh Road, particularly at the level crossing at Warblington railway station.

There is always a long queue of traffic in the morning and evening rush hours but the developers say they are a big step closer to easing the problem by putting in a footbridge – if the development goes ahead.

The matter will be discussed on Thursday at a development consultation forum at Havant Borough Council when the application will be discussed.

Andrew Norton, planning officer at Warblington and Denvilles Residents Association, said: ‘The residents association supports the proposal for a footbridge. Our view is that the structure should be such that it’s possible for people to be able to see on to the bridge. We don’t want a fully enclosed bridge for obvious safety reasons.

‘It is something that’s been discussed for a while.

‘The crossing gates can sometimes be closed for lengthy periods of time, particularly during the hours the children are arriving or leaving Warblington School.

‘Network Rail have their concerns about safety. There have been occasions when pedestrians and cyclists have actually delayed the closing of the gate and trains on the line.

‘Sometimes people can be waiting for up to 20 minutes when the crossing is down.’

Although the developer would not discuss the footbridge before the meeting, a report to the council says talks between Network Rail, Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council are well advanced and the proposals will be the subject of a planning application which will be submitted separately.

It added: ‘The bridge has remained in the county’s capital programme for some years but little progress has been made to date but the improvements to pedestrian safety will be welcomed.’

Flooding and landscaping issues will also be discussed at the meeting at 6pm at the Public Service Plaza.