So the Ransome Road to Nunns Mill link road has been approved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour in this eyesore of a brown field site being developed, better this than green field sites. But why oh why does it need a rail bridge? What is the point of replacing one eyesore with another.
Back in the 19th century, when Bridge Street was the only way in to town from the south, a level crossing at Cotton End was considered sufficient. In the 1970s when Brackmills was being developed a level crossing over the same line was considered sufficient. Why now, now that the line has not been used in years is it thought that a bridge is needed? Even if there is a remote possibility that the line will re-open a crossing on the same level as at present would surely be enough.
Concerns have been expressed that the link road will be used as a rat-run, I would have thought that a level crossing, especially if slightly uneven, would have been a good deterrent.
There are some questions that need to be answered:-
- Is there some new regulation that says we can’t have new level crossings, even over unused railway lines?
- When was the line last used?
- Who decided that a bridge is needed?
- Who will ultimately be paying for the bridge?
These points I will be putting to Northampton Borough Council and West Northants Development Corporation. If there are further questions that need asking then let me know.