Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Grimsby: Police & Network Rail issue stark warning to pedestrians

23 Jul

British Transport Police (BTP) and Network Rail have issued a stark warning that reckless and dangerous pedestrian behaviour on Grimsby’s level crossings could end in tragedy.

Footage captured by CCTV cameras installed at the busy level crossings on Littlefield and Wellowgate shows pedestrians continuing to use the level crossings after the lights and audible warning closure sequence has begun.In some cases pedestrians are continuing to cross after the barriers have begun to lower

One piece of Wellowgate footage shows a group of young people running over the crossing after the barriers have started to lower, and becoming trapped on the wrong side of the exit barriers until they lift it to allow them to leave the level crossing.

Grimsby is a town divided by level crossings that in the urban context are not easy to eliminate without significant impact on the community. Therefore for the foreseeable future education and enforcement will necessarily go hand-in-hand as without this there remains a greater risk of harm arising, particularly to pedestrians as misuse is enduring and endemic.

United Kingdom: Network Rail marks closure of 750 crossings; users’ champion pushes for further risk reduction

23 Jan

Network Rail has announced that it has achieved its goal and has eliminated 750 level crossings since 2010, most of which are either footpath or private level crossings. While closing more than 10% of the total number of level crossings on its network is to be commended, it should be noted that there has been little change in the number of vehicular highway level crossings in this period. The GBP 130 million spent on level crossings has also funded the upgrade of many other level crossings. Of particular note is the programme to add barriers to active open level crossings.

Going forward, Network Rail plans to close a further 500 level crossings and upgrade others in the five-year period from April 2014 for which a budget of about GBP 100 million has been agreed with the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), the combined economic and safety regulator. Again within the budget agreed, there will only be scope to close a small number of public highway level crossings by way of grade separation. More promising is the case for eliminating such level crossings with road traffic diverted either by a nearby extant bridge or other level crossing.

Network Rail has acknowledged that it cannot be complacent and that it will be looking to reduce risk further, a point picked-up by Tina Hughes a prominent advocate for improving safety at level crossings who now works as a users’ champion and knows at first-hand the consequences as a result of her younger daughter killed on a level crossing.

Olivia Bazlinton was 14 when she and her friend Charlotte Thompson, aged 13, were both killed on the Elsenham Station footpath level crossing in December 2005. Network Rail was in March 2012 fined GBP 1.0 million for breach of health and safety legislation. The Judge who imposed the fine was damning in his sentencing remarks which highlighted a chronicle of failure to take action known to be necessary before the death of the girls.

Ketton, United Kingdom: 79-year-old dog walker killed on crossing

23 Jan

It has been confirmed that the man killed on a pedestrian crossing in Ketton, Rutland, on January 15th, 2013 was aged 79 and had been walking his dog at the time of the accident. The British Transport Police has said that there are no suspicious circumstances and that they are treating the fatality as accidental. The dog was uninjured.

Thatcham, United Kingdom: Frustrated resident proposes short-term fix

23 Sep

A long-standing resident of Thatcham has proposed a system that takes date from Network Rail to advise motorists when the level crossing will close for the passage of trains. The idea being that an alert is sent to motorists who subscribe to the system the ability to plan an alternate route across the railway. The proposed system is presently unfunded and exists solely as a concept.

The real solution remains grade-separation but this will need substantial funding to be identified and planning issues to be overcome before it moves beyond an aspiration.

Cottingham, United Kingdom: Fatality on user-worked crossing

27 Aug

A man was killed when he was hit by a train on the Pillwood Farm user-worked level crossing on the Hull- Beverley rail line to the north of Cottingham. The fatality occurred at approximately 10.30 on August 22nd, 2013. British Transport Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatality.

Sussex, United Kingdom: Level crossing delays to be investigated

20 Aug

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton convened a meeting to discuss the issue of level crossing downtime and resultant traffic congestion at level crossings between Worthing and Shoreham. While the benefits of extra train services introduced over recent years are widely recognised, the impact of running seven trains each way each hour is an increase in congestion at level crossings, in particular at Buckingham Road and Eastern Avenue in Shoreham.

Network Rail has undertaken to investigate what they might be able to do to reduce the time that each of the level crossings is closed to road traffic. The impact of road user misuse is also a factor to be addressed as this too often leads to red light runners damaging the barriers on perhaps six or seven occasions each year.

A further meeting will be convened when the Network Rail investigation is complete.

Tilbury, United Kingdom: Grade-separation essential if new houses are to be built

14 Aug

Opposition to the proposed 800 homes development in East Tilbury, Thurrock, without resolution of the issues posed by access being over a level crossing is mounting. The issues relate to the already substantial congestion attributed to the presence of the level crossing and the delays this can cause to the response of the emergency services.

The resistance to the development, for which an application to extend outline planning permission has been submitted is centred on the need for a grad-separated replacement of the level crossing as a condition of consent for the proposed development. when the original outline consent was granted in 2010 there were 800 objections from East Tilbury residents.

Since then, rail developments have proceeded as a core component of the development of DP World’s Superport which will generate more and longer trains which will increase the time the level crossing is closed to road traffic.