Rail talks mean delays for Clitheroe homes plan

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Discussions about an outline planning application for 140 houses in Henthorn Road have been delayed so that local planning chiefs can consult with Network Rail.

Liberal Democrat planning spokesperson Coun. Sue Knox told the Clitheroe Advertiser she had been to see the planning case officer to point out that the traffic report was flawed due to the recent news that trains were being increased to every 30 minutes. She also brought to their attention the Commons Transport Select Committee report on level crossing safety.

Network Rail has committed to reducing risk at level crossings by 25% by March 2014 and to help it do this is looking to the planning authorities to co-operate in securing level crossing improvements in connection with new developments.

Coun. Knox and the rest of the Liberal Democrat team said they are relieved that Network Rail is now to be consulted. She said: “There are already queues that take many minutes to clear when the level crossing barriers are down. I worry any increase in traffic congestion may increase the frustration of drivers and tempt them to risk their own safety and that of others by trying to ‘beat the barriers’ when they come down.”

It is hoped the plans can be discussed again by the committee in November.