£8.7m work to replace dangerous level crossing to begin

Thursday March 14th 2024

Markle, near East Linton rail crossing

Markle Level Crossing is one of only two still operating on the East Coast Mainline.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Work to replace a level crossing described as one of Scotland’s most dangerous will begin in East Lothian next week.

The £8.7million project will create a new road and bridge over rail tracks south of the current crossing at the hamlet of Markle, near East Linton, which is one of only two left on the East Coast line.

Planning permission for the bridge was granted last year by East Lothian Council after Network Rail said the crossing, which has seen two people killed in recent years, was “one of the highest risk public road level crossings on Scotland’s Railway”.

A planning statement on the proposals said: “The safety risk would be mitigated to some extent by an upgrade of the crossing, however the risk will be removed entirely with a bridge.

“Network Rail therefore believes the most effective way of reducing level crossing risk is to eliminate it completely by closing the existing crossing.”

Work on the project begins on Monday 18th March and is expected to take 10 months.

The level crossing will remain in operation while the new road and bridge is built, however once, the project is completed it will be fully blocked off leaving residents on Markle with only one way in and out of their small hamlet.

The work begins just a few months after a new train station opened in East Linton and is part of the upgrading of the infrastructure connected to it.

East Lothian Council said the new road bridge and removal of the crossing would also benefit pedestrians and road traffic as there will no longer be delays due to the level crossing barriers being down when trains are approaching.

East Lothian Council Leader, Norman Hampshire, said: “Scottish Government funding has enabled an integrated major infrastructure project with the opening of the new station at East Linton and these new works at Markle which will greatly improve both access and road safety.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank the many individuals and organisations who have lobbied over the years for a station to re-open in East Linton and the realisation of this major infrastructure project thanks to successful partnership working of Transport Scotland, Network Rail and East Lothian Council.”

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