Drivers’ level crossing risk

The railway level crossing at Berwick. January 22nd 2014 E03199Q
The railway level crossing at Berwick. January 22nd 2014 E03199Q

Drivers and pedestrians are continuing to put lives at risk by ignoring flashing lights and warning sirens at level crossings in the south east, with shocking evidence of a motorist overtaking on a blind bend in Berwick.

Footage from CCTV cameras showing people misusing level crossings in the area has been revealed this week as Network Rail closes its 750th crossing since 2010.

Police CCTV picks up a car overtaking on a blind bend in an attempt to cross Berwick Level Crossing while the barriers descend and at another crossing a tipper truck was caught running the lights and narrowly missing the falling barriers.

The closure of a level crossing on the East Coast Main Line in Cambridgeshire means Network Rail has now reached its target, set in 2010, of closing 10 per cent of Britain’s crossings – 750 in total – by April 2014, contributing to a reduction in the overall risk level crossings pose to the network by 25 per cent.

Where the company can’t close level crossings, it has pledged to make them safer.

Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations for Network Rail, said, “Reaching our target to close 750 crossings in four years is good news for Network Rail, train operators and of course the public, but we cannot be complacent.

“There is much more we can do to make the level crossings that remain safer and we will continue to introduce new technology, upgrade crossings to include lights or barriers where appropriate and work with schools, communities and other organisations to spread awareness of our safety message.

“We’ve pledged to close a further 500 level crossings in the next five years. Successfully closing a crossing isn’t always a straightforward process, so we will need the support from local authorities, landowners and the public to help us achieve our new target and improve safety further still.”

Since 2010, Network Rail has invested £131m in a national level crossings improvement programme.