New level crossing trial proves a success
A new level crossing system will be rolled out across the Scottish Highlands following a successful trial at Ardrossan Harbour in the west of the country.
The new system uses short barriers at previously open crossings, and will be installed at over 20 locations, including Corpach, Brora, Kirkton and Dalchalm.
The upgrade programme for existing open level crossings will also see a conventional barrier system installed at Halkirk.
David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, said: “The trial of this new system on single line railway at Ardrossan has been a fantastic success.
“We have developed and successfully tested an affordable, innovative system that will improve the safety of open level crossings.
Cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment Alex Neil said: “Our level crossings are among the safest in Europe and 10 times safer than the European average, but every accident on a level crossing is one too many.
“Tragic incidents like the ones at Delny and Halkirk further confirm the need for all partners, including road users and pedestrians, to work together to do everything we can to reduce the risks.
“I have been encouraged by Network Rail's determination to find an innovative way forward to improve the safety of open level crossings and I have taken a great interest in this trial at Ardrossan.
“Railway safety, including at level crossings, remains reserved to Westminster. However, to demonstrate our commitment, the Scottish Government earlier this year announced an additional £10m fund to help facilitate the closure of level crossings and I will continue to liaise with Network Rail on these issues.”
Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has been a key supporter of the new system and said: “I was delighted to see the successful completion of the new AOCL+B level crossing system at Ardrossan.
“I welcome the announcement that four Highland crossing will now be upgraded forthwith. These four barrier implementations on open highland crossing are the initial first tranche of a roll-out to all the open crossings that remain in the Highlands.
“This is a major step forward in road/rail safety. I am pleased that the industry and its partners have found an innovative system that will bring significant safety improvements and that is affordable.”
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