DCSIMG

Moving signal box a ‘waste of public money’

JPCT 19-12-12 S12510579X Peter Marshall, Billingshurst resident submitting alternative sketches on railwat crossing widening proposal -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 19-12-12 S12510579X Peter Marshall, Billingshurst resident submitting alternative sketches on railwat crossing widening proposal -photo by Steve Cobb

A retired architect has submitted proposals to the council that he hopes could avoid moving the signal box at Billingshurst Railway Station.

Peter Marshall, from Lower Station Road, Billingshurst, submitted the sketch to Network Rail via an intermediary, who are currently in talks with West Sussex County Council about widening the road, and re-homing the Grade II listed signal box.

Dated back to 1876 by English Heritage, it could be moved to the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex under plans being considered, however Mr Marshall thinks that money could be saved by widening the road without moving the box.

He said: “The main thing is the signal box stays where it is, and the roadworks are much simpler and it retains the footbridge where it is.”

When he saw that there were plans to move the signal box, he racked his brain and came up with alternate sketches.

On the level crossing, he said: “It’s very narrow, and the cars if they are any pedestrians on the footway cars have to wait a bit because there isn’t any room for two cars to pass with pedestrians.”

He continued: “It’s a listed building and apparently the second oldest signal box in the country.

“The object of my plan was Network Rail are proposing to move the signal box and to move the footbridge and it just seems a waste of money.”

But a spokesman for Network Rail confirmed it had agreed to move the box to the Bluebell Railway in October 2013.

A spokesperson for WSCC added: “We are working with Network Rail on the part of the project which involves improving the highway.

“Network Rail still need to get planning permission from Horsham District Council.

“The next meeting about the project is scheduled for January.

“The intention is for it all to be completed by next September.”

 

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