DEVON LEVEL CROSSING USERS URGED "DON'T RUN THE RISK": Barriers severely damaged after a road/rail collision in Gloucester.

Thursday 16 Apr 2009


Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Users of level crossings in Devon are reminded of the dangers of misuse today.

Network Rail has joined forces with the British Transport Police, First Great Western, Cross Country Trains, Office of Rail Regulator and local MP, Adrian Sanders, at one of Devon's most misused level crossings - Paignton - as part of its ongoing Don't Run the Risk campaign.

The campaign is designed to highlight the severe risks drivers, cyclists and pedestrians take in ignoring red signals, barriers and klaxons at level crossings. Pedestrians trying to dodge the crossing barriers are particularly rife at Paignton level crossing.

Level crossing misuse now represents the largest single risk of a train accident on the railway and those in the wider Devon area suffer from frequent misuse.

Alan Milne, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: "We want to use this opportunity to spread the 'Don't Run the Risk' message to people who use the level crossings at Paignton and the surrounding area regularly. Level crossings are safe, but misuse them and your chance of surviving after being hit by a train is virtually zero."

"Most accidents are as a result of impatience; not being prepared to wait and trying to beat the train. For the sake of 60 seconds, a little patience can prevent lives being ruined."

MP Adrian Sanders said, "I applaud this campaign to raise awareness of the dangers and promote safety at level crossings."

Sector Commander Paul Richards from BTP said: "I have seen what happens when a train hits a car or person and have had the sad duty of destroying people's lives by informing them that their loved ones have died. I would urge those who think it is okay to misuse level crossings to take a second to think of the consequences and stop."

Notes to editors

- The West Country has over 500 crossings and Paignton is one of the most abused. - Since 2007 there have been 380 incidents of misuse at level crossings in the West Country. - Network Rail's Don't run the risk campaign was launched in May 2006. Its aim is to change the behaviour of level crossing users - to protect themselves and reduce the danger to train passengers.

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