Hillwalkers rail against crossing closure
Railway chiefs have been criticised for the "unacceptable" closure of a main line crossing that has cut off a popular hillwalking route in the Highlands.
Network Rail said that for safety reasons it had padlocked the private crossing connecting the village of Dalwhinnie and the Ben Alder estate and its munros to the west.
Walking groups, community leaders and local businesses said that locking the crossing would make it more dangerous, and reduce visitor numbers.
Brendan Paddy, of Ramblers Scotland, called the move unacceptable and said: "It is shocking that Network Rail failed to consult the local community, council or outdoor recreation groups".
Jen Dickinson, the chairwoman of Dalwhinnie community council, said: "Locking up the crossing is downright dangerous and will result in dog walkers, bakers and hillgoers with outdoor equipment climbing over the gates".
Network Rail said there was no requirement for a consultation as the crossing was privately owned, adding: "An alternative crossing point, via a road under the railway, is available a mile further along the line".
- The Times, Scotland edition, Monday 9th August 2021.
I quoted the article in full because it will be behind The Times paywall.
I remember that Highlandspring mentioned this crossing in another thread:
Ben Alder user worked level crossing near Dalwhinnie has been manned by an attendant for the passage of the Up and Down Highland Cheiftain daily since it went over to Azuma operation for the same reason. If the attendant isn’t on duty the train has to be cautioned.
Although Network Rail might have acted lawfully, it seems that they failed to consult effectively with the local community and the crossing users.