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Trains being missed due to missing bridge at Downham station

Regular commuters from Downham have expressed irritation about the platform design, claiming that it causes them to “miss trains”.

In 2009, a footbridge that allowed passengers to cross the tracks once the barriers were down was removed.

On August 10, 2009, Network Rail submitted a planning application for a new £1.5 million footbridge, describing the foot-crossing as “one of the most dangerous in the country”.

Downham Market train station's crossing
Downham Market train station's crossing

The plan was supported by then station operator First Capital Connect, with an intended completion date of summer 2011.

The initial application was withdrawn following consultation with local councils, English Heritage and the Railway Heritage Trust and a revised plan submitted in December 2009 following changes to improve the appearance of the bridge.

However, this proposal was rejected by West Norfolk Council in April 2010, citing the lack of accessibility for disabled passengers and the effect of the bridge on the Grade II-listed station building.

Passengers are often forced to wait for the level-crossing barriers to rise and Claire Bailey, of Downham, said: “The amount of trains I’ve missed because the barriers have been down is astounding. Sometimes I’ve sprinted over the level crossing and only just made it.

“It’s really irritating. If there were a footbridge I would have caught the train every time.”

Keiron Manning, of Downham said: “A disabled or elderly person would never be able to make it across in time-even if they arrive earlier.

“It’s been frustrating and I’ve often been late for work.

“It was so much better when there was a bridge. I thought we were getting one ages ago.”

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