Latest Rail News

21.01.14

750 level crossings closed in four years

Network Rail has hit its target on level crossing safety – closing 750 in four years. This represents 10% of all Britain’s level crossings, which contributes to a reduction in overall level crossing risk by 25%.

Over the next five years, Network Rail has committed to close 500 more.

Since 2010, investment of £131m has helped to deliver 38 replacement footbridges, 57 new spoken warning systems installed, obstacle detection radar technology at 13 crossings, new barrier technology at 33 sites, warning lights at 16, the installation of 250 power-operated gate openers, 21 safety cameras, 13 mobile camera enforcement vans operated by BTP, a national advert to warn the public of level crossing danger, and a schools awareness campaign.

In 2013 there were 10 accidental fatalities at level crossings.

Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations for Network Rail, said: “Britain’s railway is safer than ever before, but even so there will always be a certain level of risk to motorists or pedestrians where a road, footpath or cycleway crosses the tracks. Network Rail is committed to reduce that risk as much as possible and if we are able to close a level crossing, we will.

“Reaching our target to close 750 crossings in four years is good news for Network Rail, train operators and of course the public, but we cannot be complacent. There is much more we can do to make the level crossings that remain safer and we will continue to introduce new technology, upgrade crossings to include lights or barriers where appropriate and work with schools, communities and other organisations to spread awareness of our safety message.

“We've pledged to close a further 500 level crossings in the next five years. Successfully closing a crossing isn't always a straightforward process, so we will need the support from local authorities, landowners and the public to help us achieve our new target and improve safety further still.”

Ian Prosser, director of railway safety at the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) said: “We welcome Network Rail’s closure of Cardells crossing in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. To remove 750 level crossings or ten per cent of their total in Britain, by April 2014 is a significant achievement for the company.

“Though Britain’s level crossings are among the safest in Europe, there is no room for complacency. They still pose a significant risk to the public and ORR has recently announced millions of pounds' worth of extra funding for Network Rail to close or upgrade level crossings in the next five years.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Niall Rowan   24/01/2014 at 16:39

What does exactly does 'closing' mean? If it means that nobody can use it at all anymore - that's not a good news story - that's the health and safety lobby lowering the quality of life for the rest of us - again. Most people who get hit at level crossings only have themselves to blame; and in almost all cases it's the road users fault and they come off worse. Why should everyone else have to suffer for a few idiots? If 'closing' means that there is now an alternative e.g. a bridge of a mechanical barrier to stop vehicles/pedestrians then that's good. Somehow I fear the former. A parallel activity happens on the roads when they close the ability to perform right turns across the carriageway. The thousands of motorist who were stuck on the A31 for up to 6 hours yesterday would have appreciated the ability of the police to take traffic off, but all the right turns off that stretch of road have been 'closed'.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >