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Security needed after railway trespass in Balcombe

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Security cameras and patrols are needed by the railway running through Balcombe since a level crossing was closed after incidents of trespass on the line.

Kemps Farm crossing was closed on June 14 for safety reasons by Network Rail who removed the stiles at the railway boundary and erected fencing to prevent trespass.

A nearby resident said: “People might walk across anyway, or try to climb the fence.

“Otherwise you have to cross a very busy road to get to and from the village.

“They should have improved the crossing or put up a foot bridge.”

Network rail confirmed there have been a couple of incidents where the fencing has been cut and access to the railway obtained illegally, leading to the introduction of security patrols and cameras.

A spokesman said: “A level crossing at this location is neither safe nor appropriate, with trains frequently travelling at up to 90mph and limited visibility owing to the curve of the track.”

The proposal was to improve the ‘permissive path’ that runs parallel to the road from opposite Kemps Farm up to Balcombe station, allowing pedestrians to access the village via an alternative route.

“Signage has been erected at several locations on the approach to the crossing informing pedestrians that the path is closed.

“The signs are positioned well in advance of the crossing to prevent pedestrians from having to cross what we appreciate is a very busy road,” the spokesman explained.

“We hope to begin work on a footbridge over the railway at the site of the level crossing shortly, with completion scheduled for early 2015.”

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