A WARNING has been sounded by Network Rail about the increased risks which level crossing users could be facing as lockdown restrictions are eased.
The warning coincides with today’s International Level Crossings Awareness Day. Network Rail said the continuing call for people to avoid public transport if they can means more pedestrians and cyclists travelling to work and therefore perhaps using level crossings during their journeys.
The smaller uncontrolled ‘footpath’ crossings, which have no barriers or gates, need particular care. For their own safety, users are being urged to heed the signs which advise them to ‘stop, look and listen’, and never to stay on the railway any longer than necessary.
There have been two serious incidents in East Anglia recently. In one case, a pedestrian was nearly hit by a train at Brimsdown Crossing after ignoring the lowered barriers and walking across the line, while a cyclist disregarded the barriers which were being lowered for an approaching train at East Gates crossing in Colchester, and rode across the tracks.
Network Rail’s community safety manager for Anglia, Becky Crocker, said: ‘I think it’s great that people are finding new ways to get to work or school like walking and cycling. Unfortunately, I’ve seen incidents recently where people have taken huge risks. I want people to understand how dangerous this is and how to cross safely. I’ve created a safety video which explains the dangers and there’s more information about the different types of level crossings and how to use them safely on our website.
‘As a general rule, level crossing users should stop, look and listen before crossing and adhere to any further guidance or warnings. The rules and warnings are there to help keep you safe.’