Have you seen the new footbridge at the level crossing by Sutherlands Way in Chandler’s Ford yet?
You can’t use it just yet, but it looks like this:
(Update 24 Jan 2017: you can now walk on the bridge: New Footbridge: Chandler’s Ford to Valley Park)
This afternoon my family went for a walk to explore this bridge. From Valley Park, the view is like this:
For the past few months Sutherlands Way was closed for this bridge to be built (Notice of temporary closure of Sutherlands Way: construction and installation of Railway Footbridge).
Now the road has reopened. The footbridge looks impressive. My son noticed that there are lights on the bridge.
But do you remember what the footpath used to look like? I took these photos two years ago:
I used to walk on this old footpath very often. When my son was small, we even had to carry his pushchair, or his bike over the footpath. It was a bit awkward and involved some tricky manoeuvres but we all seemed to manage, and learn the great lesson of ‘Stop, Look, Listen’ and ‘Beware of trains’.
According to Alex Boatfield, of Network Rail’s assistant commercial scheme sponsor, said last July, “Chandler’s Ford is a high risk level crossing that has witnessed three incidents of misuse in the last year alone, one of which involved two young girls, and there is evidence of deliberate misuse and user error. When you combine this with the sheer number of trains that pass through each day, as well as the speed at which they travel, it really makes us concerned for the safety of the pedestrians using the crossing.
“Of course, we recognise the importance of the link between Chandler’s Ford and Valley Park which is why we’re planning to ensure that a facility to cross the railway line remains at the site of the current crossing. We have developed proposals to replace the level crossing with a stepped footbridge, which has already been amended further to earlier feedback from residents. The new design now incorporates additional screening to ensure privacy for local residents as well as lighting to assist users in navigating the bridge and footpath safely.