Level crossing closures
Many important, well used footpaths go across level crossings in Shropshire; most of these are Public Rights of Way. If you walk regularly in the Shropshire Hills, it is likely you will have used a path that crosses a railway line. The photo showsa recent ramble led by the Shrewsbury Group, where a public right of way crosses the Heart of Wales line near Craven Arms.
Ramblers are currently concerned that Network Rail is rolling out a national programme of level crossing closures, starting with 115 footpath closures over crossings in East Anglia, some of these were permissive paths but most were Public Rights of Way. Ramblers took legal advice and started negotiations with Network Rail to stop closures where no safe alternative routes could be found.
There is a full update about what happened on the Rambler website, you can read about it here. Thank you to all those members who signed the national Ramblers petition against Network Rail's action in East Anglia through a link on this website. The deadline for this petition has now expired. We would also like to thank you for being a Ramblers member; it is only by acting collectively that walkers can afford to employ expert staff to negotiate with public bodies and if necessary pay for a legal opinion, your membership subscription is a real help.
Ramblers is negotiating nationally about the most important paths, on a case by case basis, with Network Rail. An alternative route may be safer but this can only happen with the landowner's and Local Authority's agreement so path diversions may be neither convenient or possible. There is a formal process that has to be gone through, and in some cases there may need to be a public consultation and a public enquiry, so the earlier Ramblers can investigate the better.
Therefore, if walking anywhere in Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin, you come across any notice that the level crossing is or soon will be closed and, if so you cannot proceed further on the public right of way over the crossing, can you let us know as soon as possible.