Tuesday 4 Oct 2016
Level crossing awareness day after barrier strikes in South Yorkshire
Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) will hold an awareness day at a level crossing in South Yorkshire after figures revealed a worrying rise in the number of incidents.
Arksey level crossing near Bentley on the East Coast Main Line, which sees 180 trains a day travelling at speeds up to 125mph, has had eight incidents in the last 18 months including three barrier strikes.
On Thursday, 6 October between 8am and 1pm media are invited to the crossing where Network Rail and the British Transport Police will be holding an awareness day to promote the safe use of level crossings.
Darren Robinson, level crossing manager at Network Rail, said: “We are investing more than £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too.
“We’ve had a number of level crossing incidents over the past 18 months at Arksey. This is one of the region’s busiest crossings and failing to adhere to the safety procedures could have potentially tragic consequences.”
Network Rail’s dedicated community safety team and the BTP will also be using a Mobile Safety Van throughout the day to identify any drivers who deliberately misuse the crossing, as well as handing out leaflets and chatting to drivers when the barriers are down and the traffic is at a standstill.
Graham Bridges, Inspector from the BTP said: “Level crossings – and other crossings where a road or footpath cross over the railway – are designed to keep people safe. And, when used correctly, that is exactly what they do.
“Safety at busy level crossings such as Arksey is a top priority for us. Incredibly some people still put their lives at risk by ignoring warning lights and sirens and try to dash through the crossing while the barriers are descending and trains are approaching.
“This is not only hugely irresponsible but also extremely dangerous, and we will not hesitate to take action against anyone caught doing so. It is not the level crossings that are dangerous, but people’s misuse and misunderstanding of how they operate. Some people assume they can beat the lights but those few extra seconds are not worth risking your life for.
“Working with Network Rail we will be helping to educate people on how to safely use Arksey level crossing, explaining the dangers of misuse and the potentially fatal consequences.”
To find out how to stay safe when using level crossings, visit www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings
- If you wish to attend the awareness day at Arksey level crossing, please contact Amy Brenndorfer on 01904 383180 before 3pm on Wednesday 5 October.
- While Britain still has the safest rail network in Europe, level crossings are one of the biggest public safety risks on the railway.
- Over 4000 vehicles and just under 100 pedestrians use Arksey level crossing each day, which is on Station Road, Bentley
- Across Yorkshire since 2014 there have been 6,000 reports of deliberate misuse at level crossings, include 50 ‘near misses’ and three fatalities.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.6 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.