Carnoustie residents are outraged at Network Rail’s attempt to permanently close the town’s level crossing on Anderson Street — with some risking their lives to continue using it.
Rail bosses initially cited Covid-19 as a reason for closing the gates, before residents discovered they intended to make the closure permanent.
Fed-up walkers — some with prams — have even taken to clambering over the gate to cross the tracks, according to one local councillor.
People in the town maintain some use the route between homes and the Carnoustie Golf Links “hourly” and its closure will hamper those with mobility issues or pushing buggies.
But rail bosses maintain it is a private crossing “intended for the use of the golf club”.
Kenny Bodie, 61, is angry at the way Network Rail has approached the closure.
He said: “Thinking about Covid, it was fully understandable. It was all about cross contamination. There was a sign on the gates that said it was closed due to Covid.
“So for them to come back and say something different is straightforward dishonest. Why say one thing and then a few months later change it?
“They’ve used Covid-19 as a lever to close it, but now they have others reasons for keeping it closed.”
Golf Links Staff padlocked the crossing shut last year after receiving a request from Network Rail.
The closest alternative crossings are at the Links Avenue underpass or the foot bridge in Taymouth Street.
Councillor David Cheape, Independent, said he has been inundated with questions about the crossing.
He said: “I have had numerous complaints from members of the public regarding how the closure is restricting access to the links.
“This is particularly true for the elderly, infirm or parents with young children, all of whom require easy close access to where they are living.”
He said people in the town were already climbing over the locked gates and lifting bikes and prams over the fence.
“Both of these are examples of potentially far worse outcomes from a health and safety point of view than using a simple pedestrian access,” he added.
Risk reduction programme
Network Rail has carried out a level crossing risk reduction programme since 2010.
The objective of the programme is to close and upgrade crossings across the network to improve safety and reduce risk.
Broughty Ferry residents successfully contested Network Rail’s decision to shut the Haircraig crossing in the Dundee suburb last year.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “This is a private crossing intended for the use of the golf club and we do not consider it to be a public crossing.
“We are currently discussing the future of the crossing with the council.”
However, Angus Council has refuted the claims by Network Rail that they have been in touch.
A spokesperson said: “The council’s infrastructure service has not been involved in any discussions with Network Rail regards the status of the Anderson Street rail crossing in Carnoustie.”
Carnoustie Golf Links refused to comment.