BLYTH: Footbridge planned for rail bridge crossing
A new footbridge to serve the planned Northumberland Line has been recommended for approval – despite fears it could become a magnet for ‘vandalism, loitering and littering’.
Northumberland County Council is seeking permission for the structure to replace an existing level crossing at Chase Meadows, in Blyth, as part of works on the rail route.
But the proposals have attracted criticism, with some neighbours claiming the scheme is poor value for money and could attract crime.
According to one comment on the local authority’s website: “I can not see the logic in building this bridge that leads nowhere.
“The woodland area on the other side of the track is used by dog walkers but is also an area that attracts groups of youths and is a dumping ground for their litter.
“I cannot see this getting any better once the bridge is in place.
“The building of this bridge must be a costly project which is only going to create an area that will encourage anti-social behaviour.”
Out of 25 properties formally notified about the project, just five responded, all objecting to the scheme, with cheaper alternatives such as an ‘automated gate system’ also suggested.
None of the county council’s departments have raised any issues however, with the planning team recommending the application be given the green light when the Strategic Planning Committee meets on Tuesday (June 8).
The Northumberland Line project is set to return passenger rail services to what was formerly the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line for the first time since 1964, with the creation of of six new stations to serve commuters.
Words: James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporter
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