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  1. ITV Report

Fears grow that notoriously busy level crossing could derail plans to build £70m rail depot

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

Plans for a £70 million rail maintenance depot on the Essex/Suffolk border have been 'paused' by the rail company behind it.

Greater Anglia had started demolition and land work at the site - a derelict chemical works factory in Brantham, last year.

However, work has now stopped because of a number of 'unresolved issues', including the possibility of more trains on the track which will have a knock-on effect for traffic using the Manningtree level crossing.

There's currently a limit on the number of times the gates can be closed, and were plans for the depot to still go ahead, the extra number of trains that would go over the crossing would push the number of gate closures beyond the legal threshold.

Local MPs are worried the plans to build the depot could be at risk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

MPs representing both Manningtree and South Suffolk have since met with Greater Anglia and Network Rail to try and find a solution to the bottleneck.

"This would have been the highest inward investment in the history of Babergh District Council," South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge told ITV News Anglia.

"It would have created jobs, good quality jobs, and to have it potentially under threat because of movements on a rail crossing - I think for the local parents whose children might have got jobs, that will be really unsatisfying quite frankly."

In a statement Greater Anglia stressed that no decision has been made yet: "There are a number of issues to be resolved in order to progress with our proposed new depot.

"We are also looking at alternative options for the maintenance and cleaning that is due to be undertaken at Brantham, in case we need to alter our plans. As yet no decision has been made."