Saturday, 28 November 2020

Rail crossing cameras to stay 11 more years

SURVEILLANCE cameras installed at Shiplake level crossing will stay for at least another 11 years.

SURVEILLANCE cameras installed at Shiplake level crossing will stay for at least another 11 years.

Network Rail says the crossing is not due for renewal until 2026 and the lights will remain until then.

The two cameras were installed in October in a bid to deter drivers from jumping the warning lights at the crossing.

Residents objected and more than 200 people signed a petition calling for the orange devices to be reduced in size or removed.

In a letter to the parish council, Mark Brunnen of Network Rail said: “The crossing is currently planned for renewal in 2026. This date is determined by the asset condition and lifecycle of the existing crossing.

“As part of the renewal process, the crossing will be assessed for upgrade to a full barrier design.

“Until this time, the traffic lights, warning sirens, half barriers and red light safety enforcement cameras will remain in place.” Mr Brunnen said the company had consulted Oxfordshire County Council about the installation of the cameras in January last year and a highways engineer supported the work.

He continued: “Planning was not discussed specifically as we believed all equipment would be installed on our land, therefore covered under permitted development.

“Once we became aware that the mast would be installed on Thames Water land we liaised with Savills, on behalf of Thames Water, as well as the highways and planning teams at county in order to progress.

“It should be noted that these types of agreements are reached between Network Rail and statutory authorities on a regular basis.”

Councillor Dave Pheasant insisted that one of the cameras had been installed on land not belonging to Thames Water.

Council chairman Tudor Taylor said: “We are very disappointed by the whole series of events leading up to the installation of the cameras.”

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