New warning system to improve safety at footpath level crossings across Anglia: Islands level crossing Bentley improvements

Monday 30 Jan 2017

New warning system to improve safety at footpath level crossings across Anglia


Three footpath level crossings in Suffolk and Essex are now safer thanks to a new audible warning system, alerting pedestrians of approaching trains.  The crossings are the first of a total of 23 that will have the new kit installed, making the railway safer and more reliable as part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan.

The system has been installed at Spring Lane and Pagets footpath level crossings in Wivenhoe and at Islands footpath level crossing in Bentley, where the user is required to stop, look and listen for a train before crossing. The system reproduces the sound of a train horn at the crossing. This is an additional warning for the user that a train is approaching, just in case they haven’t heard the train’s horn.

By improving the safety at the crossings with this additional measure, temporary speed restrictions can now be lifted at Spring Lane and Padgets level crossings in Wivenhoe, reducing delays for passengers travelling between Colchester and Clacton on Sea or Walton on the Naze.

Work also took place to straighten the level crossing at Islands, to improve sighting and shorten the time it takes to cross. At Spring Lane, vegetation clearance works are taking place to improve sighting.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “The new system will improve safety at these crossings where the user needs to stop, look and listen for a train before deciding to cross.  This additional measure also means that we can safely remove speed restrictions at these crossings, meaning fewer delays for passengers. This is all part of making the railway safer and more reliable as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”

Notes to Editors

The new system will be installed this month at two level crossings:

  • Islands, near Church Road, Bentley IP9 2LP
  • Spring Lane, off Boundary Road, Wivenhoe, CO2 8JE
  • Pagets level crossing, Paget Road, Wivenhoe, CO7 9DT

23 level crossings across Anglia will have the system installed in early 2017.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
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03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515

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.

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