Split opinion over Fishbourne Road East level crossing

The current crossing
The current crossing

PLANS for a footbridge over a level crossing is public dividing opinion.

The proposal for a bridge over the level crossing in Fishbourne Road East is set to be considered by Chichester District Council’s development control committee on Wednesday (January 9).

In their report, officers said they had received 59 letters of objection and 54 letters of support.

In addition, Fishbourne Parish Council wrote in support of the plans.

Objectors said the current arrangement was ‘perfectly adequate’, there was no need for a bridge and it was ‘unreasonable’ for cyclists to have to dismount or use a longer route.

Supporters said the current crossing was dangerous, in need of replacement and cyclists should dismount.

In its comment, Fishbourne Parish Council said it had been expressing concern about the crossing for ‘at least 12 years’ and ‘strongly supports’ the scheme.

Since 2001, there have been three fatalities on the crossing, two of which were recorded as suicides.

Responding to some of the comments, Network Rail said: “Level crossings are one of the few reminisces of the original Victorian railway system, built at a time when the UK population was substantially smaller and before the private motor car.

“It is our firm belief that level crossings are not acceptable in 21st century Britain, regardless of their individual incident records as accidents continue to occur right across the rail network.”

The application will be discussed at a development control committee meeting at East Pallant House from 10am on Wednesday.