Local MP Matthew Pennycook has weighed in on the proposed closure of the Angerstein Wharf crossing, dubbed the most dangerous level crossing in south east London, by demanding Network Rail justify their decision.

The Greenwich and Woolwich MP wants the company to provide evidence behind the newly announced plans to close the level crossing in Charlton after local residents once again reacted with anger.

Network Rail confirmed last month that the Angerstein railway crossing, used by around 700 people a day, is set to close.This Is Local London: The Angerstein level crossing in Charlton - Emily NortonThe Angerstein level crossing in Charlton - Emily Norton

They claim it is the "most dangerous level crossing" in the region, and has seen a number of near misses including children playing on the tracks and a woman carrying a baby.

An alternative route has been proposed for people to cross along a 240-metre diversion on Fairthorn Road, but local residents say the plans will see the loss of a "historic and important pedestrian link" which is "vital" for pedestrians.

There was fierce opposition to Network Rail's first attempt at closing the crossing in 2019, including a popular petition, and Pennycook was among those to register his "strong objection".

As a result of the MP's intervention and the "strength of feeling expressed by local residents and community groups," the closure process was halted.

In his letter, Mr Pennycook says he is "therefore incredibly disappointed that Network Rail has concluded that the crossing must now close permanently," with no alternative for a pedestrian crossing at the same location proposed.

So the MP has asked the company to answer a number of questions he feels have not been properly answered, including why it asserts that the Angerstein crossing poses the 'highest risk' of the 342 level crossings in the region.

The letter follows a consultation meeting held last week by Network Rail and the "uniformly negative feedback I have received following it," Pennycook adds in his letter.

Other questions posed by the MP include if Network Rail will publish the review it undertook which led to the decision to close the crossing, what other safety measures have been considered and for evidence that passengers are behaving unsafely by climbing under or over stationary trains at the crossing.

The letter also asks on what grounds Network Rail has concluded that the proposed alternative route is safer, and how they will be working with the local community to address the safety concerns in relation to the Woolwich Road underpass.

Network Rail said they were "committing to invest in the alternative route via Farmdale and Fairthorn Road, improving safety for users of the alternative route" whilst also keeping it step-free.

They say the suggested closure will not be immediate, and the transport body say they will be in contact with local community groups who have opposed the closure of the crossing in the past.

A detailed review of the crossing by Network Rail found that it posed the highest risk of 342 level crossings in the company’s Kent Route, although Pennycook now wants this same review to be made public.

Back in May, Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Route Director for Kent, said: “We have announced today our intention to close Angerstein level crossing near Charlton due to the safety risk it poses to users, passengers and our rail colleagues.

"Angerstein crossing is currently registered as the most dangerous of nearly 350 level crossings which we operate in Kent, with many incidents where drivers of trains had to apply their emergency brakes to avoid people on the track.

“The closure will not be immediate, and we will be in close communication with the local community about the alternative route which is chosen.

"We understand that many residents will be disappointed by this closure but their safety and that of passengers and rail colleagues is our priority.”