Friday 29 Sep 2017
Ivy Lea Farm crossing removed as Network Rail issues reminder on level crossing safety
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.
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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.
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