ANGRY pedestrians are to hold a mass demonstration at Shoreham’s level crossing next month in a bid to persuade Southern Rail to re-open the subway.
The Shoreham Society has been campaigning to re-open the subway since 2013 so people can pass under the level crossing when the barriers are down.
Adrian Towler, the society’s journal editor, said he hopes there will be a big turn out for the demonstration, which he expects will cause train delays.
He said: “There was another access to the subway, which was built for pedestrians at the level crossing. It was closed in 1987 but we didn’t protest much at the time.
“Now there are more trains, more health and safety, and it’s become very tedious.”
The campaign was originally aimed towards Network Rail, but Mr Towler was recently advised that re-opening the subway would be down to Southern Rail.
The society conducted a public survey in 2014 which was funded by Southern Rail, and Mr Towler said the results were ‘overwhelming’.
“The vast majority of their rail passengers wanted the subway open again, and said it would not inconvenience them at all,” he said.
The demonstration is arranged to take place on Saturday, March 12, and the society hopes it will force Southern Rail to take the next step forward.
“We’re just going to be a nuisance to show that we mean business and to make our point without anyone getting hurt,” said Mr Towler.
If the action group is successful it will ask Southern Rail to conduct a survey to find out where to put the new entrances, the cost and the problems it may encounter.
Mr Towler said the move would help boost Southern Rail’s reputation in the area.
He said: “Southern have had much bad press recently with late-running trains and the Society is hopeful that they will want to boost their public image with a popular community project like this.
When the total cost is established, Mr Towler said the society will ask for a contribution from Network Rail’s Safety Budget.
Mr Towler added: As many townsfolk as possible are urged to come along and show solidarity for this long-awaited improvement.”
The society will also be holding a public meeting at St Peter’s Hall, West Street, Shoreham on Friday, February 19, at 6pm.