This is the only (revised) proposal at the moment for ending the daily delays at the notorious East Coast Main Line railway level crossing on the A16 at Tallington, mid-way between Stamford and Market Deeping!
The word 'bypass' has had to be used as a generality, as the true term 'level crossing enhancement' that is being requested would not have been understood by anyone here! The difference is - who pays for the bridge! Network Rail hopefully; as it is they who are causing this PUBLIC NUISANCE and it is believed that it is only they who can fast-track this solution to THEIR problem !
Click on these links for images of the Proposal
(Close the linked page to get back to this page.)
the original 1954 plan for a bypass,
my proposal plan of June 7th 2006,
the revised plan of June 14th 2006,
the latest revision of March 2009
the level crossing enhancement area
and the side elevation of the proposed bridge.
(NOTE: neither of the last two drawings take into account
the angled bridge revision of March 2009)
From traffic census figures taken during 2006/7, the traffic delays on this ECML level crossing were up to 45 minutes in the hour at rush hours and at various periods during the working day. Now that the 3 Grand Central passenger trains from the North West have start running and National Express have 9 more passenger trains during the day and Hull trains also want another train to add to their timetable, the situation is intolerable for the motorists, delivery drivers, local buses and schoolchildren trying to get to and from schools in Uffington and Stamford. It should be remembered that this is the A16, a vital artery joining the A1/A43 and the A15/A16
We learn that Grand Central have requested an extra service from Sunderland to add to their current three and Grand Northern, their sister company, have requested three new services a day from Bradford to Kings Cross! All are due by December 2009 - giving a further 14 trains a day over Tallington crossing! And that just precedes the Standard Hourly Off-peak Timetable that Network Rail wants to introduce in 2010 - 14 trains an hour every hour off-peak!
The crossing barriers won't be open for road traffic at all at times (and worse, the rail regulations ALLOW it!). Hence the need for a solution to be considered and started now, not next year; it will be too late!
A full professional costings estimate will appear here BUT there are two things to remember, 1. the bridge can only go in this place (+/- 5 metres) and at roughly 90 degrees to the tracks (due to the cost and availability of the bridge spans), and 2. the roads shown in blue are the shortest (straight) links available between the bridge and the A16 - so giving a base price to work from. ANY alternative route WILL be considered; its cost can then be reasonably worked out as an addition to the basic estimate provided by May Gurney, the civil engineers.
While creating the proposal ALL of the obvious problems were looked at and addressed. The location of the bridge HAD to be the starting point; it will ONLY go in between one set of overhead wire supports on the main rail tracks. Its angle depends on the road width and span, a single 14 metre road could angle slightly but a wider one couldn't; the 90 degree span is 22metres, (co-incidentally the longest solid beam span that Tarmac make!) and it will take two spans to go over the main line and the sidings. (Since writing this in 2006, spans are now available in longer lengths and an angled bridge is now a possibility!! )
For THIS proposal to go ahead, it almost certainly means the REMOVAL of the level crossing (in the terms of the 'enhancement'). The footbridge is not fit for its purpose now, as it isn’t high enough for new containers and hasn't got room for ramps to be fitted where it is; a pedestrian underpass was one logical alternative and is in the estimate, however - a disabled access bridge is now more probable due to an angled water sewer under the crossing.
The route to the east of the bridge has always been protected for the bypass (until ABC Nursery were allowed to build portakabin classrooms in the narrowest point!). A larger site on the same field has been identified for ABC to be moved on to; with quieter access, better expansion capabilities and more parking available.
All of the businesses on the small trading estate, including the petrol station, will have a new access from the bypass via a roundabout into an expanded trading estate and service area. Despite complaints of potential loss of passing trade - I am certain that this proposal will actually boost it, as vehicles can get in to the estate easily via the roundabout rather that sitting in traffic!
The Whistle Stop might lose some of its passing trade BUT it will no longer have exhaust fumes continually pumped through its doors! By having a pedestrian footbridge at least it will be joined back to the village for us all to use. It will be expanding its restaurant facilities so we will have a closer option than having to drive to any of the other village pubs around here. Their entertainment facilities and camping site will benefit from less road noise and complete loss of sirens and horns from the rail crossing and parking for their coach trade will be much improved.
To the west of the railway is Searson Close, currently affected by the A16 traffic, just 90 metres to the south, and railway noise from the sirens on the crossing and 6 train horns for every train going by. The bridge is expected to be over 120 metres from the rear of these houses and behind at least one large well developed tree and a wooded copse. With the crossing closed and a footbridge in place, the sirens and horns would stop completely. A landscaped embankment for the road and a 30 mph speed limit will help lower road noise even more when it is transferred from the front of the houses to behind the hedges well over 120 metres to the rear.
The western end of the link road is expected to be just outside Tallington in the lay-by on the north side of the A16 with a roundabout coming back into the village (and Bainton). From the roundabout, the costed route goes behind the St Lawrence Way estate behind a noise reduction embankment that will be visible approximately 50 metres BEYOND the electricity line crossing the field. It is approximately where the original plan showed it and this plan has been published in the Village Book for over 5 years.
It should be remembered that St Lawrence Way was to have been twice the size with the link road between the two halves via the land that property no. 9 stands on. The buffer strip behind all of the houses from 1 to 31 was to not only give noise and visual privacy from the 2nd part of the estate but also, if that wasn't developed, give protection from the bypass when IT was to be developed some time in the future. For the residents to have been persuaded to buy that strip, and develop it as a low level amenity, has now caused them a problem! The County Council are not obliged to hear any representation from them for loss of views and increased noise due to the link road because THEY are the ones who have removed the noise barrier.
SOMETHING has to be done about this Public Nuisance -
doing nothing is NOT an option!
Gridlock around the Market Deeping A15 bypass will occur first (expected soon) with severe traffic problems in Uffington and then back to Stamford later.
An unusual set of circumstances occurred on Tuesday 22/6/2006
at 2.30pm when the barriers ONLY closed for less than 6 minutes for
1 freight train and 4 passenger trains but traffic got beyond Molecy's Mill - just 700 metres from the A15! Heavy (normal) traffic, mainly commercial, buses and emergency vehicles, didn't expect the railway crossing to be down that long and no-one in cars had used the rat-runs! The following week, delays of 55 minutes were experienced during the afternoon from joining the queue at Copthill to going over the level crossing!
Grid lock here we come - a solution will NOT be ready in time -
but I did warn them!