Thursday 22 Dec 2016
CCTV shows cyclist in terrifying near-miss with train
Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) are warning cyclists to use level crossings safely after CCTV footage shows a cyclist in a horrifying near-miss with a train.
The shocking incident occurred at Ducketts level crossing in Pudsey, Leeds last summer. The busy crossing sits on the line between Leeds and Bradford Interchange which sees around 127 trains per day traveling at speeds of up to 60mph.
The crossing is one of the highest risk crossings in the area and although Britain’s level crossings are among the safest in the world, hundreds of incidents and near misses occur every year. As well as four different views of the near miss with the cyclist, there is footage of children trespassing at the crossing and a near miss with a car from 2013 available at the bottom of this release.
Over the last 18 months, there have been 18 incidents at Ducketts level crossing. As well as the near-fatal incident with the cyclist shown in the CCTV, other incidents include the phones at the crossing being left off the hook, the crossing gates being left open and drivers entering the crossing whilst the red warning lights are on.
In addition to endangering lives, every incident delays passengers. In the last 18 months, incidents at Ducketts have caused 764 minutes of delays, which have cost £14,260 – a cost which is paid for by the taxpayer.
Vicki Beadle, community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “We are investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too.
“We cannot stress enough the danger cyclists, pedestrians and motorists are placing themselves in when they don’t use the crossing safely.
“When a cyclist approaches a level crossing, they should dismount their bike and check that no trains are coming from both directions before they cross.
“The footage shows just how close this cyclist came to being struck, and most likely killed by the train.
“People need to realise how a split second decision to ignore safety procedures can have life changing consequences, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends. These type of incidents also affect train drivers and railway workers, who have to deal with the aftermath.”
Chief Inspector Lorna McEwan for British Transport Police (BTP), said: “This cyclist was one of the lucky ones. Sadly there are many people who have not been as fortunate, and I have had the heart breaking job of telling families that their loved ones has been killed at crossings or on the tracks.
“Despite our constant warnings about using crossings safely and the dangers of the railway, incredibly some people are still willing to put their lives on the line by ignoring crossing instructions, not looking properly or by trying to dash across crossings when trains are approaching.
"Most accidents are as a result of impatience; not being prepared to wait and trying to beat the train. People risk their lives thinking it won’t happen to me, but it can and it does and it’s simply not worth the risk.”
Since the incident, Network Rail have made a series of improvements to improve safety at Ducketts level crossing. Further information is available on request.
To find out how to stay safe when using level crossings, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings
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