Lydney signal box is doomed in money-saving scheme
A BID to save the "iconic" signal box at Lydney Level Crossing looks to have failed.
The town council teamed up with Dean Forest Railway to try and protect the iconic building in Harbour Road from demolition.
But Network Rail has been given the all clear to raze the building as it continues to work towards automating the crossing.
Town councillor John Bartle said: "I will be extremely sad to see it go.
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"It's a real pity the Dean Forest Railway couldn't take it on, I think their criteria was that it needed to be in a certain condition and it didn't quite come up to that.
"It's an iconic symbol of Lydney. We are the only town in the Forest of Dean with a rail service and it's a shame that something as iconic as the keepers box will be lost."
Mr Bartle and other civic leaders have previously expressed fears that automating the crossing, currently operated manually, will have serious safety implications.
He is pushing for a proper pedestrian crossing to be put in place but said he's struggled to make his voice heard.
"For ages, we've wanted a footbridge or even some protective railings for people who need to cross the line on foot," he said.
"We keep being told there's no need for it.
"I have serious worries that it will lead to someone being badly hurt or worse.
"They want to extend the car park, which means more people want to use the station, which means that, to me, there's a higher risk."
Peter Adams, chairman of Dean Forest Railway, had pleaded to save the box.
In a letter, he said: "This was originally a Great Western signal box and has been in existence since the First World War, and as such does form part of the historical life of the Lydney industrial area."
In future, the crossing will monitored remotely via CCTV from Cardiff.
Rail bosses have identified it as a trouble hotspot after 22 near-misses were reported in the past year alone.
A Network Rail spokesman said they had looked at reopening a pedestrian subway there but won't press ahead because it is not a public right of way.
"We are happy to work with the local authority to deal with any concerns the public has over the safety of the level crossing," he said.
"The work is being done to improve the reliability and flexibility of the train service and to save money.
"If people take note of the barrier and the lights, the crossing is safe to use."