Network Rail out of line, says Springfield OAP

Sam Page at the Hospital Mill level crossing at Springfield.
Sam Page at the Hospital Mill level crossing at Springfield.

A Springfield pensioner has claimed that railway bosses are out of line by banning the public from using a level crossing he says is a right of way.

Sam Page (80), who has lived in the village all his life,claims that Network Rail had no right to block the crossing at Hospital Mill.

He says the road, which leads to Cults Mill, is an old carters’ thoroughfare which is enjoyed as a walk by locals like himself and his wife Roberta.

“That road was there long before the railway came,” he said.

“It’s been there for about 400 years and has always been a right of way.”

And he rejected Network Rail’s suggestion that it had always been a private crossing.

Said a spokesman: “The crossing at Hospital Mill is a private level crossing intended for the use of designated individuals only.

“It has never been classed as a public crossing for vehicles, but pedestrian access is allowed.

“Misuse of level crossings is one of the biggest risks to rail safety and access to our crossings has to be closely monitored and controlled.”

The spokesman explained that the crossing was protected by miniature red/green lights and audible warning equipment and there were controls to raise and lower the barrier.

In 2009, local teenager Natalie Mulholland was killed at the Cults Mill crossing nearby.