Network Rail calls for vigilance on level crossings this Christmas
Network Rail has issued a new call for vigilance by pedestrians after film footage has emerged of two cyclists narrowly avoiding death on level crossings.
The most recent incident took place on 12 November at Griffin Lane level crossing in Aylesbury as a 60mph London Marylebone-bound train missed a cyclist by inches, crushing the cyclist’s bike.
The Griffin Lane near-miss follows a well-publicised incident on the Ducketts level crossing in Pudsey, Leeds, over the summer where another cyclist came within inches of being hit by a Leeds to Bradford train. The Griffin Lane crossing has since been closed by Network Rail.
Ben Parish, Network Rail route level crossing manager, said: “This frightening footage is a stark reminder of the need for vigilance at all level crossings. This applies all times of year but especially at Christmas when festive drinks are flowing. Our top priority is safety.”
Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) revealed that the Ducketts level crossing had seen 18 worrying incidents in the last 18 months, including children trespassing on the railway, crossing gates being left open and drivers ignoring warning lights to enter the crossing.
Incidents at the crossing during that time caused 764 minutes of delays to services, costing the railway a total of £14,260.
Network Rail’s community safety manager Vicki Beadle said: “People need to realise how a split-second decision to ignore safety procedures can have life-changing consequences, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends.”
“These type of incidents also affect train drivers and railway workers, who have to deal with the aftermath.”
Beadle added that Network Rail is investing over £100m to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but it also needs the co-operation of everyone using the level crossings. A series of safety improvements have been made by Network Rail at Ducketts level crossing since the incident over the summer.