Monday 14 Sep 2015
Novel level crossing to be installed at West Dyke Road
A bespoke barrier which could change the appearance of level crossings across the country is set to be installed in Redcar.
The existing boom gate crossing on West Dyke Road in the seaside town suffers frequent reliability issues during strong winds, meaning the barriers must be closed to motorists and pedestrians for extended periods of time until the wind speed drops.
As the barrier has approached the end of its working life the issue has intensified, with Network Rail engineers carrying out regular repairs and upgrades over the last 12 months in an attempt to improve its reliability, including a new battery, a new motor, new wheels and reducing the size of the slats across on the barrier face.
Initially the replacement barrier was not due to be installed until 2018, but Network Rail and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have fast tracked the approval process – which can often take over a year - to allow work on the novel crossing design to start in October this year.
The new, telescopic barrier will slide out across West Dyke Road from alongside the railway tracks, meaning they will no longer swing out into the road and battle against the wind. This will also allow the barriers themselves moved nearer to the railway and create more space in the area around the crossing. The bespoke barrier will also mean that the signal box at Redcar can remain, reducing the amount of time the work will take to complete.
Gary Walsh, area director for Network Rail, said: “We are 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.”
Councillor Helen McLuckie, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, at Redcar Borough Council, said: “We welcome the developments that Network Rail are bringing forward the replacement barrier system and are extremely pleased we can facilitate this two years earlier than originally planned.
“There will obviously be some disruption to residents and that’s why we are co-ordinating this with planned road widening and resurfacing works as well as essential utilities repairs with Network Rail’s improvements at the crossing.
“This will reduce the possibility of longer and more frequent periods of disruption.”
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Network Rail are looking to synchronise the improvements at the crossing with other planned roadworks and essential utilities repairs in order to reduce disruption.
Residents are advised that there will be some short term disruption while the existing barrier is replaced, with clearly signposted diversions in place. It is hoped that the new barrier will be operational before the end of the year. There are not expected to be any disruptions to train services while the work takes place.
Network Rail and the British Transport Police have also worked together to help reduce misuse at the crossing, with more awareness days set to take place once the new barrier is installed.
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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.
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