Network Rail today officially marked the closure of Inchyra level crossing in Perthshire – the first Scottish public crossing to close this century.
The automatic half-barrier crossing has been removed from the network after Perth and Kinross Council and Network Rail worked together to create a new link road to divert traffic away from the railway.
The new link road, between Inchyra and St Madoes in the Carse of Gowrie, was officially opened today by John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North and the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth.
The closure is part of a wider Network Rail initiative to reduce the number of level crossings on Scottish roads. The company, which cannot close public crossings without local authority support, is currently in negotiations with other councils over the future of several public crossings.
David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: “Level crossing misuse represents the biggest outside risk to rail safety. We are committed to closing crossings where possible and we also avoid building new crossings into our lines.
“The closure of Inchyra shows what can be done to remove crossings from the network and is a great example of a local authority and Network Rail working together to improve public safety. We are in discussions with other councils regarding more level crossings and hope that today’s closure is just the first of many in Scotland.”
Perth and Kinross enterprise and infrastructure convener, councillor John Kellas commented: “We are pleased to have worked with Network Rail to make a dual improvement to transport safety in the Carse through this project. The new link road provides better access for residents and visitors to Inchyra, in combination with the closure of the level crossing, removing a hazard point for motorists and train travellers alike.”