UNPOPULAR plans for a ramped bridge to replace the surface level crossing at Wareham Railway Station have been submitted to planning chiefs.

Campaigners, including iconic British actor Edward Fox, are calling for the proposals to be thrown out.

New plans for the controversial crossing were unveiled at a public exhibition in the summer.

Rail bosses have wanted to close the existing pedestrian crossing at Wareham for years, citing safety concerns as their reasons why. However, town residents - who are quick to point out there has never been any serious accident or injury at the crossing - have been largely opposed to the move. They argue the crossing is part of a vital route linking Wareham to Northmoor.

Celebrated Wareham resident Edward Fox, said: "Local residents have made clear their objections to the ramped bridge.

"The county council and Network Rail just aren’t listening. This will impact on residents' everyday lives. The current proposals would be a blot on our beautiful station and spoil the entrance to this historic town."

Meanwhile, Wareham Mayor Cllr Malcolm Russell added: "The level crossing is vital to the future of our town being the only pedestrian route between the two halves of Wareham.

"I urge all residents to write to the district and county council to express their views about this controversial proposal."

Last year more than 2,200 people signed a petition calling for the current surface crossing, which is controlled by locking gates and manned by a security guard, to be retained.

Campaigners, who have demonstrated at the station, say the gates could be linked to the signal system, in much the same way as the pedestrian level crossing in Poole town centre.

During a packed public meeting, held at The Purbeck School in July, residents also expressed serious concerns about the proposed ramped bridge.

Worries included the bridge's steep one in 12 gradient and the increased distance it would add to journeys between the north and south of town.

In 2015 plans for a ramped pedestrian footbridge at the site of Wareham station's existing stepped footbridge were turned down by Purbeck District Council on the grounds the structure was too large and would add too much time to pedestrian journeys.

The latest proposals are to once again add new ramps to the station's existing footbridge, but engineers say these ramps are shorter than previous designs.

Now the plans have been lodged with both Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council for consideration.

Comments on the application can be made online.