here. What Valentijn had found was that the gate either side of the railway crossing was chained and padlocked, and that was what I found too. There were the usual notices that Network Rail put up on unmanned crossings so it looked as though the crossing was intended to be used, but that someone had locked the gates. It seemed to me that the public footpath had been blocked so I contacted the local council.
I got a prompt and helpful reply from an Assistant Engineer (definitive map) who explained that the footpath only went as far as the crossing gates at each side of the railway and that the crossing was a private crossing for a local farm. He sent me a definitive map, but I haven't copied it here since it bears the Crown Copyright notice.
He went on to explain that the farm has had a road built connecting it to Cottingham (part of the work on the substation expansion I suspect) and so the crossing is no longer the main way of getting to the farm. After some incidents elsewhere in the country Network Rail's Health and Safety Team looked at all such crossings and put up gates where the public right of way did not cross the railway. It is entirely clear that the public right of way that no longer crosses the railway is completely pointless, but Network Rail have clearly avoided a serious health and safety risk.
I and countless others have used the crossing for many years with no incident but we have now been saved from our carelessness by the timely intervention of
I have, however, made a useful and helpful contact at the local council and thanks to Valentijn the map is now a more accurate reflection of the real situation.