Monday 14 Dec 2015
New railway crossing gates signal the end of traffic issues in Redcar
Britain’s first sliding gate level crossing barriers are now operational in the North East after a recent upgrade as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The new, telescopic barrier slides out across West Dyke Road in Redcar from alongside the railway tracks and marks the end of the existing boom gate barrier which was plagued by reliability problems during high winds.
The new gate was originally due to be installed in 2018 but with the old barrier increasingly difficult to operate in strong winds, Network Rail took the decision to fast-track the approval process with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and fit the new gates ahead of schedule.
This morning the crossing came into operation for the first time as West Dyke Road reopened to traffic, with Redcar MP Anna Turley on hand to speak to engineers who worked throughout the weekend to make sure the crossing opened on schedule.
Mark Tarry, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We have been all too aware of the problems suffered at West Dyke Road in high winds and decided that the level of disruption caused needed addressing ahead of the original programme.
“The new barrier has been designed with this specific problem in mind and is unlike any existing crossing on the network, and we are confident that its installation with help improve the flow of traffic and pedestrians in Redcar.”
Anna Turley said: “It is fantastic to see the wind-proof barriers in place at last and to welcome the first trains through it this morning.
An end to the traffic chaos will be a welcome relief to residents, bus users, and local businesses who have long suffered from the repeated breakdowns and closures.
"I am pleased we have been able to secure this upgrade well ahead of the original schedule and I would like to thank Network Rail who have worked hard to get the new system built and installed.”
The highway stop lines and yellow traffic boxes have also been moved nearer to the crossing barriers to create more space for traffic and pedestrians when waiting at the barrier.
**A video of the gates in action is available in our media gallery
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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 4.8 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.