Feltham level crossing is set to close after a new bridge and major roadworks were approved to enable the introduction of longer trains.

But councillors have asked Network Rail to rethink the finer details of the design to ensure the work does not spoil what they described as the "gateway to Feltham".

A new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists will now be built over the railway line, close to the level crossing in Bedfont Lane.

Hounslow Road will be widened to provide an extra lane southbound, and an extra northbound lane will be added to the bridge over the Longford River, along with cycle lanes in both directions.

READ MORE: Plans for cycling and pedestrian improvements in Feltham

The plans were approved by members of Hounslow Council 's planning committee on Thursday March 10.

But they asked Network Rail to look again at the design, particularly for the widening of Hounslow Road, to make it as attractive as possible.

Councillor Liz Hughes said: "I want the rail improvements but I don't want them to make Feltham an uglier place.

"This is the gateway to Feltham. It's a conservation area and we want something beautiful there."

Network Rail has six months in which to put the finishing touches to the plans, during which time it can consult with councillors and residents in Feltham.

Longer trains

Closing the level crossing will enable Network Rail to extend the platform so 10 carriage trains can serve the station, providing more space for passengers.

The new bridge and road-widening are designed to mitigate the impact of closing Bedfont Lane to through traffic.

Green ribbons have been attached to trees by environmental campaigners opposed to the road-widening

The roadworks would have to be completed before the level crossing can be closed. Network Rail estimates Hounslow Road will need to be shut for at least five months between the junctions with New Road and Hanworth Road while the work is carried out.

The widening of Hounslow Road will encroach on Bridge House Pond, across the street from the station, requiring around 15 trees to be felled.

Five months of disruption

The Friends of Bridge House Pond have attached green ribbons to the trees to highlight their opposition to the plans.

Richard Clarke, chairman of the newly formed group warned removing the trees and replacing them with an "unsightly" five-metre-high wall would destroy the area's character.

This will result in five months of disruption, but more importantly will fundamentally change the character of the area for ever. We should be protecting our remaining heritage for future generations to enjoy," he said.

The approved plans do not include the closure of the level crossing itself, which Network Rail describes as the second most dangerous in the Wessex area.

The council says that might be possible through "permitted development rights" or may require a separate planning application.