All crossings will close when Fife rail line reopens
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Network Rail says this is being done for “very well established and widely held accepted safety reasons”.
But there are concerns from walking and cycling groups, and local communities – and there is a petition calling for the retention of the Doubledykes crossing.
Levenmouth Rail Campaign (LRC), in its latest newsletter, also highlights the issue of there being no crossings of any kind on the five-mile stretch between Thornton and Windygates.
It says this will cause particular difficulties for residents and users of the three crossings that presently exist south of Coaltown of Balgonie.
The newsletter goes on: “One of these is the ‘Barrel Bridge’, at Doubledykes, which is defined as one of historic significance.
“Despite some of these crossings being well used, there is apparently no public right to have them retained and they have now been ‘extinguished as a result of the decision to re-open the line’.”
LRC’s newsletter continues: “The only, slight, hope now is for some local group or other to take up the issue and insist that these routes be included in the Active Travel paths network, and then hope that funding can be secured for a crossing.
"This would also mean a lot of lobbying of local councillors, councils, MSPs and MPs...”
Local man Gavin Harrower is one of those pushing for a crossing to remain at Doubledykes, and has launched a petition on Change.org which has, so far, attracted over 650 supporters.
His petition states: “With the new much-welcomed railway line going into Levenmouth via Thornton, it has come to our attention that there will be no crossing points over the line between Cameron Brig and Thornton.
“This is a well used route for walkers and cyclists alike, having used this route for many years.
“It's also a historic route used by Mary Queen of Scots.
“We would appreciate Network Rail or Fife Council ensuring provision to cross the line in any way, whether that's a level crossing or bridge, to allow for the use of this off-road travel route between Glenrothes and the Fife coastal path to continue unhindered.”
Network Rail said it was aware of concerns around the lack of any provision of a crossing point .
A spokesperson said: “Network Rail has been clear and consistent in advising that there would not be any level crossings designed into the new Levenmouth Rail Link – for very well established and widely accepted safety reasons.
“There is no existing ‘right of way’ over Doubledykes – which is legally a private crossing, although obviously never enforced while the railway was non-operational.
“Consequently, from construction of the new line and thereafter when it becomes operational railway, this will cease to be a point where the railway can be crossed and so anyone presently using this path will be advised to find an alternative route.
“Proposals for railway crossings (bridges) linking to local active travel networks and walking routes have been developed by local partners – with the clear understanding that any existing level crossing / foot crossing of the line would be closed.”