For years, the level crossing at Oulton broad North Station has infuriated motorists, thanks to the long waits caused by the barriers.
Network Rail recently completed work on the platform which has resulted in a claimed 1 minute time saving every time a train passes through. But is it enough?
The reason the barriers have taken so long in the past is that because the platform at the station is so near to Bridge Road, the barrier must be lowered even before the train arrives from Lowestoft. The reason for this was that if the train’s brakes were to fail, there would be no time to apply the emergency brake before ploughing into the traffic on Bridge Road.
The changes to Oulton Broad North revolve around a new 30ft fence which effectively blocks off the platform at the Bridge Road end. Trains now stop further up the platform, and the barriers don’t have to be lowered until it is ready to depart for Norwich. New waiting facilities have also been installed further down the platform.
Though this all sounds like good news, we’ve heard reports that despite the changes to the platform at Oulton Broad North, the wait for the barriers still sometimes takes over 5 minutes. As well as frustrated motorists, we’ve heard from train passengers who have missed their train due to having to wait to cross bridge Road, where traffic would previously have been stopped.