Latest Rail News

09.08.13

Birkdale level crossing dangers highlighted

A level crossing awareness event is being held at Birkdale, Southport, after six penalty tickets were issued to drivers going through red lights at the crossing.

Network Rail is holding the event next Wednesday to improve level crossing safety. Last year, nine people were killed at level crossings in Britain and Birkdale is one of the most dangerous areas in the country.

The day is part of a larger campaign to increase safety by raising awareness, closing crossings and using new technology to reduce abuse of the crossings.

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail route managing director said: “Where a road or footpath meets the railway there will always be a risk – tragically, for a few people every year, this results in injury or loss of life. We want to reduce the chances of this happening as much as possible. This operation is all about raising awareness to the public in Southport on how to use level crossings safely and making them aware of the risks associated with getting distracted or ignoring warning signs.”

Sergeant Steve Lawman, of BTP’s Southport Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “It is hard to believe that so many people are prepared to put their life, and those of others, at risk simply to save a few seconds at the level crossing.

“This impatience is reckless and dangerous and we are working closely with Network Rail and Merseyside Police to address the problem.

“This is a busy area with many trains using the crossing each day and pedestrians and drivers need to be aware of the potential danger.”

Maarten Spaargaren, managing director of Merseyrail added: “Birkdale level crossing is the eleventh most dangerous crossing nationally. It’s situated in a very busy place and with lots of cars going over it and while no serious accidents have happened there so far, we’re keen to work with Network Rail and the British Transport Police to ensure that it remains a safe place for the general public and Merseyrail customers alike.”

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