Traffic hold-ups in Spalding after level crossing fault

Level crossing problems affected drivers in London Road, Park Road and Woolram Wygate, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Level crossing problems affected drivers in London Road, Park Road and Woolram Wygate, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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An angry Spalding woman has slammed rail officials after a level crossing failure in the town left her “virtually held hostage” for more than two hours.

The woman, of The Raceground, Spalding, who asked not to be named, was one of scores of drivers held up by rail signal problems at London Road, Park Road and Woolram Wygate level crossings on Tuesday.

A Network Rail spokesman said the fault, which led to what the woman described as “extreme disruption”, was due to “an ongoing problem with a set of points on the track”.

But the woman said: “Whilst sympathising with the numerous people forced to u-turn and find alternative routes, the residents of this cul-de-sac (The Raceground) were virtually held hostage by police guarding the failed barrier.

“Those attempting to escape on foot were threatened with £100 fines, while numerous phone calls were met with assurances that ‘someone is on their way’.

“I finally gave up after two-and-a-half hours, with my day and plans totally ruined.

I doubt that compensation (from Network Rail) for the extreme disruption and loss of earnings will be forthcoming

“I doubt that compensation for the extreme disruption and loss of earnings will be forthcoming.”

The problems on Tuesday were the latest in a spate of level crossing failures to hit Spalding over the past year.

Network Rail engineers were initially called to the town last May when level crossing barriers in Park Road and Woolram Wygate were both stuck in the down position.

The latest problem came after a £280 million upgrade of the Great Northern Great Eastern Line between Doncaster and Peterborough was completed last November.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We apologise for the disruption in the Spalding area which was caused by an ongoing problem with a set of points on the track.

“When a fault is detected, the level crossing barriers ‘fail safe’, meaning the barriers are dropped to protect the public.”

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