Monday 23 Feb 2009


Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
Network Rail is stepping up its efforts to stamp out level crossing misuse at Beards Lane and Downfield, where a recent survey recorded nearly 100 incidents of misuse over a short period of two days. About 90% of the incidents reported involved young people.

The survey also found that all the incidents recorded occurred mostly during the five minutes while pedestrians were waiting for northbound trains to cross. However, the trend of misuse reversed when pedestrians only had to wait 30 seconds for southbound trains to pass.

To deter pedestrians from running the risk, Network Rail has amended the timing sequence at the crossings. All trains will now take on average 20 – 30 seconds (depending on the speed and type of trains) to reach the crossing after the sound of the alarm.

The timing adheres to the safety guidelines set by the Office of Rail Regulation. The move to standardise the waiting time is also backed by Gloucestershire County Council and local schools, including Stroud High, Marling and Archway schools.

Alan Milne, community safety manager at Network Rail, said, “All level crossings are safe if they are used correctly. We’ve had some problems at Beards Lane and Downfield where people have been impatient. The longer sequence on the northbound side has also led them to falsely believe that they can beat the train. By standardising the waiting time and the increased efforts in raising awareness of the dangers or misuse, we hope to bring positive changes to the way the crossings are used.”

For the next two weeks from 23 February, Network Rail’s community safety managers will be stationed at the crossings to advise users of the changes and warn them of the dangers of misusing level crossings.

Network Rail has also been visiting local schools in the area to publicise the change in timing and to raise safety awareness among young people. Additional signage with instructions on how to use the crossings correctly will also be put up.

Contact information

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