Wednesday 9 Feb 2011
MOTORING MADNESS AT LEVEL CROSSINGS IN THE SOUTH WEST CONTINUES
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 200 level crossing incidents in the South West of England and level crossings in Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire recorded the most number of misuse. There were also around 27 near misses caused by misuse of level crossings last year.
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 route director Mark Langman 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
NATIONAL LEVEL CROSSING MISUSE STATISTICS
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
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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.
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.