The Inspector has recently announced that the Public Inquiry into the proposed Network Rail Essex and others Level crossing reduction order will recommence in Chelmsford on Tues 25th September 2018 following its adjournment on 20th October 2017 due to Network Rail's failure to follow procedures correctly. In the meantime the Cambridgeshire Inquiry has completed whilst the Suffolk Inquiry is under way. We await the findings of these Inquiry's with interest.
For information, of the original 69 crossings scheduled for closure in Essex and other authorities 10 have been withdrawn. Of the remaining 59 Ramblers have objected to the closure of 37 (3 are conditional).
Network Rail have made it clear this particular programme is the first of many aimed at closing all level crossings (where possible) in the Anglia region and if successful in the rest of the country. There are around 6000 level crossings in the UK; closures would result in a significant disruption to, and degradation of, the UK public right of way network. In addition costs (e. g. footpath maintenance) and health and safety factors would be transferred from Network Rail to cash strapped local authorities.
To get an idea of the scale and scope of the Inquiry please go to the Inquiry web site at http://essex-level-crossings.persona-pi.com/