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

Thursday 16 Apr 2009

DEVON LEVEL CROSSING USERS URGED "DON'T RUN THE RISK"

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.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394
MediaRelationsWestern@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk