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Thoughtless and dangerous action by inconsiderate level crossing users delays re-opening

On Monday 14 May 2018, the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway (C&PRR) closed the byway at Little Horsenden level crossing, half a mile from Princes Risborough. The level crossing track was life expired having last been relaid by British Rail over 60 years ago. As the byway is a public right of way, the C&PRR obtained the legally required temporary traffic restriction order from Buckinghamshire County Council. A diversion for both pedestrians and other traffic was signed throughout its route.

The C&PRR is 100% volunteer operated and a team of volunteers had taken a weeks’ holiday to carry out the repairs avoiding weekends when the crossing is most frequently used. But throughout the week, work had to stop as a few members of the public chose to ignore the road closed signs and trespassed onto the worksite forcing volunteers to suspend use of heavy plant and machinery construction equipment.

This delayed the carefully planned engineering project and has cost the C&PRR hard earned cash by extending hire periods for the machinery used to move 20 metre long rails and heavy concrete sleepers. Volunteers were repeatedly forced to suspend operations to ensure the safety if these inconsiderate people who climbed over fences and gates to trespass on the site.

Trespass was so bad that police had to be called several times to ensure safety of volunteers from threats made by trespassers against volunteers and putting themselves at serious risk of injury. The railway has a duty to ensure that the public are not put at risk, even if they act foolishly and illegally.

Because of these inconsiderate actions of a few, delays have been incurred and final work outstanding will mean the level crossing will remain closed until 23 May despite the railway tracks being renewed. It is hoped the timber crossing will be completed, offering a level surface to the byway on Wednesday 23rd May. As the rails and sleepers without the decking present an unacceptable tripping hazard, the crossing will have to be kept closed in the meantime.

The C&PRR volunteers deeply regret the inconvenience caused to the majority of the public, who have understood the reason for the byway closure and respected it.

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