Councillors stand firm on controversial crossing plans

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RAIL bosses claim Doncaster residents back their proposals to build a bridge over the East Coast mainline.

But Doncaster Council’s planning committee has refused to change its stance of opposing the move, which would form part of a major engineering scheme to take freight traffic off the passenger line.

The committee said it would oppose the bridge at a meeting in March - and stuck to its guns this week despite seeing consultation figures suggesting public support for a bridge.

David Moss, a senior planner for Network Rail, told councillors 56 comment cards had been received back from residents as part of the company’s consultation over the scheme.

Of those, 52 had an opinion on the road bridge plan, with 81 per cent in favour of building the structure at Joan Croft Lane, Thorpe in Balne.

A council report stated: “There is clearly a significant degree of public support for the road bridge which was not represented when the committee considered the matter in March.”

Councillors opposed the bridge plan again after ward members told them of concerns that a bridge across the railway would lead to more traffic on a road which they did not believe could handle extra traffic.

Coun Ros Jones, who is the ward councillor for the area affected by the scheme, said she supported the principle of moving freight off the East Coast main line.

But she added: “The people who live around the area where this bridge is going to go really do not want it.

“A road bridge would increase traffic on what is little more than a cart track.”

Network Rail says it will put in place a more modern level crossing if the bridge is not built, and its forecasts suggest only five more vehicles during the morning rush hour and seven more in the afternoon rush hour would use the road if the bridge was built. A final decision will be made by the Government, with the council only has a consultative role in the process.