Thursday 23 Nov 2017
Call for greater care after latest near miss on Cheshire level crossing
- London North Western
Users of a level crossing in rural Cheshire were reminded today (Thursday 23 November) to take care after multiple instances of potentially life-threatening misuse in the past year.
Gates have been left ajar by motorists and horse-riders using Barthomley level crossing, on the four-trains-an-hour Crewe-Kidsgrove line, at least 25 times in the last 12 months.
On Monday this week (November 20) a delivery van left parked on the crossing was nearly hit by a London-bound train, prompting Network Rail to call for greater care.
Lucy Chadderton, level crossing manager for Network Rail, said: “Stopping a vehicle on a level crossing puts your life and others’ lives at risk.
“We’re investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we need motorists, cyclists, horse-riders and pedestrians to do their bit too.
“By paying attention to the clear user instructions at level crossings and avoiding distractions we can all stay safe.”
On Monday this week the delivery van driver opened the first gate at Barthomley crossing then drove onto the crossing. He then stopped, got out of his vehicle and opened the second gate to exit the crossing.
While his van was stopped on the crossing the warning lights changed green to red and the driver of the approaching train had to slam on his brakes so he did not hit the van.
The van driver not only put his life at risk but also those of the passengers on the train and its driver.
There are clear signs at the crossing instructing users to wait until the light is green before opening the gates on both sides of the crossing.
The instructions are then to get back in their vehicle, checking the lights are still green, before driving over the crossing.
Crossing users are instructed to then close the gates after again checking the lights are still green.
In the last year there have had been more than 25 reports of the gates being left open at the crossing by users in vehicles and on horses.
This could lead to children and animals wandering onto the track and potentially being harmed.
Passengers are also being disrupted as train drivers are stopping at the crossing to close the gates to help keep people safe.
For more information about level crossings or for anyone with additional questions or concerns, visit www.networkrail.co.uk or call our 24 hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.
About Network Rail
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.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
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;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.