Ivy Lea Farm crossing removed as Network Rail issues reminder on level crossing safety: Ivy Lea Farm crossing in September 2017

Friday 29 Sep 2017

Ivy Lea Farm crossing removed as Network Rail issues reminder on level crossing safety

London North Eastern & East Midlands

A rural level crossing which was the scene of a fatal accident in North Yorkshire has been removed as Network Rail reminds the farming community to stay vigilant when it comes to safety.

Back in 2014, 77-year-old Eric Ireland died when the car he was driving was struck by a train travelling at 70mph as he crossed the railway at Ivy Lea Farm.

Since then Network Rail has been working alongside the landowner to get the private crossing closed and removed from the line at Rillington, between York and Scarborough, and after an agreement was reached, the crossing was taken out over the weekend of September 25.

Plans are being made meanwhile to remove three other private farm crossings on the York to Scarborough line near Haxby and Barton-le-Willows, which Network Rail have recently legally closed with the agreement of the land owners.

Last month, Network Rail announced a joint campaign with the National Farmers Union to remind farm workers to stay safe during the harvest season, after statistics revealed that 2016 saw the highest number of level crossing incidents in the past four years.

Robert Havercroft, Network Rail’s level crossing manager whose patch includes Ivy Lea Farm, said: “The removal of Ivy Lea Farm level crossing is something we’ve worked towards for several years and I’m pleased that we reached an agreement to remove the crossing equipment entirely.

“As well as keeping level crossings functioning correctly, my role is to stay in contact with farmers who have private level crossings and make sure they’re being used safely and this campaign is a timely reminder to all farm workers about the right way to cross the railway.”

While Britain still has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks on the railway. The new S.A.F.E.R campaign, launched this September, will help to reinforce the safety critical rules around using private level crossings

The S.A.F.E.R campaign reminds farmers to;

Speak - If there is a phone, speak to the signaller before and after you cross

Access - Open both gates before crossing and always close them after you

Follow - Check and follow the signs and signals every time you cross

Everyone - Check everyone knows these instructions to get across safely, every time

Responsibility - It’s your legal responsibility to ensure your workers and family comply

National Farmers Union Vice-President Guy Smith said: “For farmers, crossings are a crucial way to access their land. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside Network Rail to improve safety at level crossings.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Toby Higgins
Media relations manager (London North Eastern & East Midlands route)
Network Rail
01904 383180 / 07850 406724

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.

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