DISTRICT councillors, parish councils and users of the Alice Holt and Buckthorne Oak footpath crossings have condemned Network Rail’s plan to replace them with a footbridge and lifts at Bentley station.

They wrote to Damian Hajnus, Network Rail’s infrastructure liability and contracts manager, following a second public consultation at Bentley Memorial Hall on November 23.

They said: “Even at this early stage, it is clear the design has not adequately quantified or taken account of the impacts on nearby homes, cyclists, walkers, horse riders or wildlife.

"It restricts access to Alice Holt Forest and is not designed sympathetically to the station’s heritage. If progressed, we would object at every opportunity available.”

District councillors David Ashcroft and Kenneth Carter, Binsted, Bentley and Froyle parish councils, the Alice Holt Forum, Cycle Alton, the British Horse Society and residents’ representative Geoff Woollen all signed the letter.