Spalding becoming no-go area after rail barriers fail for a third time

Traffic at a standstill in The Crescent and Sheep Market, Spalding, because of a level crossing stuck down in Winsover Road.
Traffic at a standstill in The Crescent and Sheep Market, Spalding, because of a level crossing stuck down in Winsover Road.
  • Rail bosses challenged to find ‘simple solution’
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A “fed-up” worker in Spalding has challenged rail bosses to find a “simple solution” for barrier failures that have hit the town three times in ten days.

Level crossing barriers were stuck down for about 45 minutes in Winsover Road on Thursday, causing traffic jams in The Crescent, Sheep Market, Station Approach and Park Road.

When the level crossing barriers are stuck down, it has a knock-on effect in keeping people away from Spalding

David Dunham of Spring Gardens, Spalding

The latest failure, caused by faulty axle counters, came just two days after Network Rail’s head of network operations programmes Gary Walsh branded the continuing problems in Spalding as “unacceptable”.

David Dunham, a window cleaner of Spring Gardens, Spalding, who was caught in Thursday’s traffic jam, said: “I couldn’t get away from my house and I’m finally fed up with it.

“On Good Friday, I was stuck for two hours and couldn’t get in or out of Spalding.

“A lot of my work is in the town or just on the outskirts of it, so I can understand how anybody who has a business here is even more fed up than I am.

“When the level crossing barriers are stuck down, it has a knock-on effect of keeping people away from Spalding because if they know that they can’t get in and out of the town, they won’t come here.

“By the time Network Rail got the barriers fixed that went down on Good Friday, there wasn’t a soul about in Spalding and you could go anywhere you liked.

“There must be a simple solution and Network Rail must have a contingency plan if the barriers are going to fail at any time.”

Mr Walsh said: “The delays being caused by the technological failures at these level crossings are unacceptable and my team is working tirelessly with our suppliers to get them working reliably at all times as quickly as possible.

“There are two known issues and a programme of repairs started this week to address one of them while we continue to work to find a long term solution for the other issue as soon as possible.”

However, people have been warned by British Transport Police (BTP) not to try and cross the barriers while they are stuck down in a “fail safe” position.

A BTP spokesman said: “Whilst we understand that it can be frustrating when there is a fault, using a crossing when the barriers are down is dangerous.

“It is vital that the public do not attempt to use crossings when the barriers are down because even though the track may appear clear, trains move at high speed and can be upon you quickly.

“We are working closely with Network Rail to ensure drivers and pedestrians use level crossings properly and we would encouraging them to report any problems with barriers to Network Rail.”

Traffic hold-ups in town after level crossing fault

Bad Friday sees Spalding come to a standstill

Traders hit by railway misery in Spalding