Wednesday 9 Feb 2011


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

The number of motorists involved in near misses with trains at level crossings in Britain increased by 15% in 2010, according to Network Rail. This worrying trend is revealed as it publishes the latest figures on level crossing misuse. It wants people to change their behaviour at level crossings where motorists and pedestrians break the law daily, many causing disruption and damage to rail and road services, with the unfortunate suffering the fatal consequences.

Last year there were nearly 40 level crossing incidents in Shropshire. More than half of the level crossing misuse involved road vehicles using the crossings when it is unsafe to. Most of the incidents of misuse at level crossing in Shropshire were recorded at in Bucknell and Wem with a total of 12 and 8 respectively, although it is thought the true figure is much higher.

There were 3,446 recorded incidents of misuse at level crossings across Britain last year, although it is thought the true figure is much higher. Whilst the number of near misses is up, collisions with trains has halved from 14 in 2009 to seven. Fatalities too were down from 13 to four.

Network Rail Community Safety Alan Milne said: “Too many motorists continue to break the law by jumping the lights or swerving around barriers at level crossings. Hundreds of pedestrians are also risking their lives just trying to save a few seconds – it’s just not worth it. Whilst deaths and injuries are thankfully few, these actions by those who are either impatient or ignorant of the law cause great cost, delay and disruption to both rail and road passengers across Britain.”

Notes to editors


All data is from 01 January – 31 December 2010

  • There were 3,446 recorded incidents of level crossing misuse across Britain’s national railway network. This is slightly up on 2009.


Number of recorded level crossing offences











§ There were 161 near misses between trains and road vehicles. This is up from 2009 (140) and is now more than 3 a week.

§ There were 297 near misses between pedestrians and trains.

§ There were a further 768 incidents reported where pedestrians crossed when it was unsafe to do so, and a further 748 road vehicles crossing when unsafe.

§ There were 7 collisions between road vehicles and trains (down from 14 in 2009)

§ 4 people lost their lives at level crossings (down from 13 in 2009).

Figures also show that there were:

§ 466 incidents of people leaving level crossing gates open

§ 370 incidents of road vehicles striking barriers

§ 75 incidents of people leaving phone off the hook at level crossings

§ 240 incidents of people failing to contact the signaller before crossing

Contact information

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