Network Rail have issued proposals to close Kiln Lane crossing and build footbridges. This will have a severe impact on the area. Ely Wildspace have written expressing their concerns. ( See below). We would urge you to look at the proposals and register any concerns you have. The closing date is 4th July.
Dear Network Rail,
Re: Ely Area Capacity Enhancement – Kiln Lane Level Crossing
I would like to object on behalf of Ely Wildspace to the proposals resulting from your plan to close Kiln Lane level crossing. We are a strong membership organisation. We understand the need to improve Rail capacity through Ely as outlined in your consultation document.
All the options for the Kiln Lane crossing involving the construction of vehicular / pedestrian bridges would have significantly adverse impacts on the adjacent Ely Pits and Meadows SSSI.
The disturbance to the SSSI would be considerable both during any large-scale construction and in the longer term. There are also considerable landscape impacts with any proposed bridge option.
The current consultation as set out does not provide any environmental impact data regarding the options and therefore, we believe, the public consultation process is fundamentally flawed and based purely on a visual preference for options, all of which would permanently damage the SSSI.
We also question the need for such an expensive infrastructure project at what is a relatively quiet crossing. The cost and scale of the proposals appear to be a disproportionate response given the low level of vehicular use of the road.
This is a peaceful area highly valued and enjoyed by the residents of Ely and visitors alike. Over a decade ago a survey estimated it hosted around 100,000 visits per year, and our members have observed a marked increase in its use since the pandemic. The construction and use of large bridges in the area would greatly diminish its amenity value, at a time when the importance of local nature-based recreation has never been greater.
We would be happy to meet with you to discuss our concerns for this very important area but at this stage we cannot support any of the bridge options.
Andrew Bullivant, Chairman Ely Wildspace.
Ely Wildspace aims to protect and enhance the Ely Wildspace environment for the benefit of wildlife and the local community. For more information please see our website www.elywildspace.org.uk.