Mr Aldous has been working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Government, Network Rail and local councils to find a solution to the Oulton Broad North level crossing which is a major cause of congestion when the barriers are down and trains are either in the station or approaching.
The forthcoming re-signalling of the line to Norwich provides the opportunity to address the problem and further work will be carried out including the extension of the platform and the repositioning of the signalboard. This will allow trains to run into the platform while the crossing remains open to traffic. This work should be completed in 2016 and will result in a considerable reduction in the time that the barriers are down and thus congestion along Bridge Road, Normanston Drive and Gorleston Road will be substantially reduced.
Peter Aldous commented: “The Oulton Broad North Level Crossing has been a real problem in getting around Lowestoft and Oulton Broad for a long time. At long last a solution is in sight and I’m grateful to the business community, as well as the councils for the work that they have done in making the case for the work to be carried out to both Government and Network Rail. We now need to move on to provide a new crossing for Lake Lothing.”
Graham Newman, Suffolk County Councillor, Cabinet Member for Roads, Transport & Planning said: “The County Council is very mindful of the congestion caused to road traffic when the level crossing is closed. We are currently looking at ways of deploying our permanent Vehicle Message Signs in the town to give motorists advance warning of when the crossing gates are likely to be closed for a train to pass, as part of a wider range of minor improvements to the road network to address congestion issues.”
Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council said: “Partners are all working very closely to address traffic issues and the Oulton Broad crossing is one that clearly needs addressing. We are very pleased that we are now making genuine progress as part of our wider ambition to improve Lowestoft infrastructure.”
James Reeder and Richard Perkins, on behalf of the Lowestoft and Waveney and Suffolk Chambers commented: “We are pleased that we have played a major part in ensuring Network Rail have understood how the current system causes huge delays. The new signals will bring a significant reduction in the time that traffic will be held at the crossing - which can only be good news.”