The UK’s Network Rail has received permission to construct a new bridleway bridge across the Felixstowe branch line to deliver a safe public route across the railway, allow rail freight to carry more goods, and provide enhanced passenger services.

For this project, Network Rail has invested £60.4m and started construction work.

As part of the project, Network Rail will upgrade branch line, building the space required for 1.4km of extra track to be installed between Trimley and the level crossing at Gun Lane.

To be built on the site of the current Gun Lane level crossing, the new bridge will provide an alternative safe route across the railway for passersby, horse riders and cyclists to access the countryside.

“The bridge will provide a safer connection to the countryside for the community.”

This will enable Network Rail to permanently close six pedestrian level crossings in the area, including Gun Lane, to improve public safety.

Once the upgrade is complete, it will allow up to ten additional trains in each direction to carry goods to and from the Port of Felixstowe.

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By GlobalData

The project is expected to reduce congestion and pollution for the local community and the wider region as each additional freight train takes the equivalent of up to 76 lorries off the roads.

The scope of the work also includes upgrades to four road level crossings between Trimley and Westerfield to maintain public safety while allowing more trains to run on the line.

Network Rail Anglia route managing director Meliha Duymaz said: “This is a significant milestone in increasing freight services and improving reliability for passengers as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. While closing level crossings to improve safety is always challenging, the bridge will provide a safer connection to the countryside for the community.”