Ashford Bowdler level crossing closure option scrapped

A level crossing rail bosses were considering closing is to be upgraded, after villagers opposed the option to shut it.

Network Rail said the current half barriers would be replaced by full ones at Ashford Bowdler, Shropshire.

It said the decision had been taken after the community was consulted.

Ludlow town councillor Viv Parry said the outcome represented "people power", following a public meeting held by Network Rail earlier this month.

'Biggest risk'

She said: "It shows that if you really think about something and want something hard enough, it can happen.

"It would have completely decimated the whole of that village."

Network Rail said it explored the possibility of closure and the upgrade was part of a £75m project to modernise the railway between Newport and Shrewsbury, with new signalling technology installed along the route.

Christine Booth, operations risk advisor for Network Rail, said: "We have decided upgrading the crossing is the best option to balance the need of improving safety with the concerns of local residents if the crossing was downgraded or closed."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "Level crossings are the railway's single biggest risk and we're trying to close as many as we can to remove that risk completely.

"But where we can't, we will try to make them safer."

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