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Proposed changes to rail crossing

Major changes proposed to Bobbing rail crossing

Changes have been proposed to “Simpsons foot crossing” in Bobbing, which has been the scene for several deaths over a number of years.

The rail crossing in Sittingbourne has come under the spotlight after footage emerged earlier this year showing youngsters risking their lives, as they played on the busy tracks of the railway system that links Sittingbourne to London.

Network rail have proposed to install a new red & green crossing system, the same used on pedestrian road crossings, which will make crossing the railway line safer . They have also proposed the crossing to be closed completely and a footbridge to be built.

Officials from Southeastern Railway visited the crossing beside the A249 at Bobbing this week, at the end of the school day to give safety advice to younger children about the dangers of not using the crossing safely.

Simpsons Crossing has between approx 8 to 10 trains per hour pass through at high speeds.

Councillor Mike Whiting, who represents Swale West at Kent County Council said “There are two schools the other side which use the crossing, Grove Park Primary & Westlands Secondary School, and of course the new estate behind us together with McDonald’s and other attractions”

“The footage is horrific, when you see people playing about, laughing about, and joking about – but it is no joke at all.

“What they are doing on the train line is dangerous, not just for themselves, but the passengers too and it’s particularly harrowing for the drivers if they are involved in an incident.”

A spokesman from Network rail told us:

“Trains are quiet and quick, so please pay attention to your surroundings when crossing a railway – taking a moment to stop, look and listen will keep you safe.

“If you are with a group of friends, make sure you are the one to look up and check for trains, don’t rely on anyone else and please don’t mess about on the line.”

Network Rail is looking to install a red and green warning light system in the next few years to make it safer but in the long term, it would like to close all level crossings and build footbridges.

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