Friday 10 Jan 2003

BUS DRIVER CHARGED WITH LEVEL CROSSING SMASH

Route:
South East
Network Rail’s first priority is to improve the safe operation of the railway, through engineering excellence.  Safety has many aspects. One key feature is where members of the public interact with the railway, particularly at level crossings. Most level crossing incidents result from crossing misuse.  Too frequently the level crossing ‘green cross code’ and the Highway Code is broken.  This may lead to incidents that can potentially endanger the lives of many. Railway industry partners work tirelessly to inform staff, customers, lineside neighbours and members of the public about railway safety.  The industry also has a policy of zero tolerance of criminal behaviour on the railway and always seeks to prosecute. A bus driver who struck and destroyed a level crossing barrier at Ware in March 2002 was recently prosecuted at Hertford magistrates court. The accident destroyed one complete barrier arm and its lifting mechanism, resulting in needless delays to both road and train traffic.  The barrier, which is unique in construction, had to be taken away to be repaired and hand signallers controlled the crossing for more than 40 hours. - more - Crossing – 2 Inspector Brook, British Transport Police said: “The seriousness of crossing misuse was reflected by the driver being convicted of driving with undue care and attention, fined £300, charged £75 costs and receiving seven points on his licence.” Initiatives designed to monitor level crossing users include: ·        Covert CCTV cameras ·        British Transport Police increased visibility ·        Network Rail regular, thorough inspections ·        British Transport Police telephone hotline for the public to report any incident on the railway: free phone 0800 40 50 40

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Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

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The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
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  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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