Wednesday 19 Apr 2017
New gates in place to improve safety at Suffolk level crossing
New gates have been installed at a pedestrian level crossing at Halesworth station, Suffolk to make the crossing safer as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
In order to encourage safe use of the crossing, fencing and gates have been installed at the end of the station platforms. These act as a barrier between pedestrians and the railway, and provide a timely reminder to people to stop, look and listen for trains before they cross.
A sign attached to the gates provides advice about how to use the crossing safely:
- Only use the crossing if you are a station user. It is not a public right of way.
- Cross only if there are no trains in either platform and check no trains are approaching.
- Get off your bike before crossing and stick to the crossing and off the track.
- Always keep moving. Don’t stop on the crossing.
Textured flooring has been installed so that people with impaired vision understand where the edge of the platform is and new signs and painted lines show where the decision to cross can be made safely. Anti-trespass guards have also been installed at the side of the crossing pathway, to stop people from accessing the tracks.
Early last year, proposals were presented at a public meeting to close the crossing completely, owing to significant safety concerns. There have been instances of people walking off the platform onto the tracks and crossing when trains are in the station, which can block people’s view of the adjacent track, and even people attempting to cross when trains are approaching the crossing. Following feedback from regular users, it was decided that putting a gate in place would improve safety at the crossing without having to close it.
With the gates in place, Network Rail will continue to monitor crossing safety and will review the situation later in the year.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have installed these gates to encourage people to cross at Halesworth station safely. Those who need to use the crossing should check that no trains are coming and that no trains are stopped in the station before making their way across. We are committed to improving safety at level crossings as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and we will continue to monitor the safety of the level crossing at Halesworth station as part of these ongoing commitments.”
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.