AN elderly couple who used a level crossing before it was closed down claim there is no alternative but to build a footbridge.
Malcolm and Norma Evans, of Warren Lane, Branston, say that controversial plans to build a footbridge over a nearby railway line should go ahead rather than make improvements to the Burton Road bridge overhead.
Mrs Evans, who cannot walk far, says she has to use the car to get out as she cannot cross over the busy road bridge.
The 68-year-olds spoke out after plans for the footbridge submitted by Network Rail is being recommended for refusal when East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning committee meets on Monday.
The rail company closed the level crossing as it seeks to reduce the risk of what it claims is misuse at the crossing – adding that there had been many near misses.
Mr Evans said: “The A38 is dangerous but they haven’t shut it, they are making improvements to it.
“You cannot cross the main road (on the road bridge), but from the railway you can see trains from two miles away. On the road the cars are not doing 70mph but they still won’t be able to stop for me.
“If the council refused the footbridge, what would be the alternative? They can put pelican crossings on the road but they won’t put them all down and people will still try and cross elsewhere. With the lorries, it is hilarious trying to cross.”
Objectors to the plans have said that the footbridges could encourage vandalism and skateboarders will use the ramps, but Mr Evans added: “That is not a catastrophe, it is just part of growing up.
“There is no problem with drug taking and it wouldn’t be made worse by a bridge.
“On the grounds of health and safety (the footbridge should be passed.) I dice with death everytime I cross that road. What with the new housing estate bringing 2,500 homes, soon 20 children using that road will be 200 and all it takes is for someone to nudge someone on that road bridge.”