PASSENGERS and motorists will be facing travel disruptions next month as work begins on upgrading two level crossings.

National Rail engineers will be carrying out 'vital upgrade work' on two level crossings in Warden and Upper Denton to improve reliability on the rail network and to enhance safety for cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and passengers.

Work will include removing and replacing the current level crossing deck, installing a new track drainage system, renewing the level crossing sleepers and tarmacking and repainting road markings.

The Newcastle to Carlisle rail route will have temporary closures of the crossings with diversions in place for road users and changes to train services between April 21 and April 27.

Buses will be replacing trains between Hexham and Carlisle in both directions from Monday 22 April until end of service on Friday 26 April. Trains will then operate again on Saturday 27 April.

Richard Cunningham, Senior Asset Engineer for Network Rail, said: “These upgrades are significant in providing safer level crossings for all users and improving the reliability of the railway on this important cross-country route.

“We want to encourage passengers to check before they travel and to plan ahead with their journeys via National Rail Enquires or their train operator while these vital improvements are underway.

“We would also like to thank the public for their patience and understanding while this vital work is taking place.”