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Councillor Davod Harrison

A Difficult…. But…. Important Question

Totton Level Crossing Trains
Totton Level Crossing Trains
I have a difficult question to put to you.

However, it’s important that I understand what people think, especially over something that is likely to have a long standing impact for many local people.

Almost everyone I know hates the fact that the train gates in Totton close as often as they do.

Daytime they are closed for about 20 minutes in every hour, (about a third of the time).

Like many other people, I use Junction Road regularly and have spent a fair chunk of my life waiting for the train gates to open.

I wouldn’t therefore welcome anything that means the train gates are closed for any longer than they are now.
The wait is frustrating and it contributes to an air quality issue for people living nearby, pedestrians and cyclists.

However, we have the possibility of a new rail passenger service running down the Waterside.

This has all sorts of benefits, for a greater number of people than wait in a car at the train gates.
The opportunity of travelling, by rail, into Totton and Southampton, with onward connectivity to everywhere else in Britain.
Residents in Marchwood would be in Southampton central in just nine minutes!

There would also be benefits to Totton residents wishing to travel down the Waterside, at least as far as Hythe and perhaps further.

What’s more, it is another means by which people from all over the country could access the New Forest National Park, leaving the car at home and potentially easing traffic queues in places like Lyndhurst.

I have spoken to rail chiefs who are exploring the possibility of a bridge over the railway line, but of course this won’t easily be achieved because of cost, and other issues surrounding existing buildings in the area.

My question is… if there is to be no new bridge to be constructed, would you tolerate the train gates being closed as much as 30 minutes in the hour (50% of the time)?

I am told that any new passenger service could be carefully scheduled to tie in mainly with existing gate closures. However, despite this, there will still be some impact… hence the question.

In other words…. is the potential extra wait time, justified by having a new passenger service up and running along the Waterside?

I know this is an issue that will excite strong opinions, so please be civil and respectful of other views expressed.

I am genuinely interested in trying to find out what the “popular” view would be.
Sometimes you think you know… but people can surprise you!


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