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Moors Gorse Bridge opening
MPB completes £1.5 Million bridge installation at Cannock Chase for Network Rail, designed by TGP.
Mountain bikers using the trails through Cannock Chase can look forward to safer journeys with the opening of a new bridge over the railway line that runs through the forest.
Network Rail has constructed a new bridge which will allow the old “user worked” level crossing at Moors Gorse to be permanently closed, meaning cyclists and other forest users no longer have to negotiate two sets of gates to cross the busy Cannock railway line, where trains travel through at up to 50mph.
The new bridge was officially opened today (Monday June 24) by Aidan Burley MP for Cannock Chase.
Aidan said: “I was delighted to officially open this new crossing which I know will be welcomed by cyclists and other forest users. The old ‘user worked’ level crossing was no longer fit for purpose and I am pleased that Network Rail recognised this and now installed a new bridge to ensure that members of the public now using the crossing will be able to do so safely thus reducing the risk of accidents”
Paul Sumner, project sponsor for Network Rail, explained: “In 2010, we became aware of a change of use at Moors Gorse as new mountain bike trails opened up in the forest with up to 3,000 cyclists using the crossing on certain weekends. This increase in also meant a big rise in the level of risk associated with the crossing, so we’re delighted to open this new bridge and close the crossing for good. The surest way to remove risk at a level crossing is to close it and Moors Gorse is one of more than 700 we have successfully closed across Britain in the last three years.”
Network Rail worked with many stakeholders including British Transport Police, Cannock Chase District Authority, the Forestry Commission and Staffordshire County Council, to firstly ensure the safety of cyclists using the old crossing, then come up with a solution that would allow the level crossing to be closed permanently.
The location and design of the new bridge were specifically chosen to be complementary to the unique environment of the Cannock Chase forest. The bridge has been painted and located to minimise visual impact and designed for ease of use for all forest users including mountain bikers, horse riders and walkers
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