“Take your time, don’t risk your life” warning issued for level crossings

Published on : Thursday, June 4, 2015

Network RailNetwork Rail is reminding users of level crossings across Wales of the importance of using level crossings safely and understanding the safety measures put in place to keep them from harm.



The call is especially aimed at cyclists, the focus of a new safety campaign launched by Network Rail this week. The campaign is designed to encourage cyclists to adopt safer behaviours at level crossings to keep them and their bikes from harm.



Safety events will be held at level crossings across Wales, including Aberdovey, Offa Dyke, Bersham, Buttington, Whitland and Llanelli. Level crossing managers will be available to answer questions and remind level crossing users how to keep themselves safe when crossing the railway track.



Britain’s level crossings are among the safest in the world, yet hundreds of incidents and near misses occur at these spots on the rail network every year. In the last five years, there have been around 140 near misses involving cyclists and four tragic fatalities.



Christine Booth, operations risk advisor for Network Rail Wales, said: “Waiting at a level crossing can sometimes be frustrating, but they are dangerous places so people need to be aware of how to use them safely.



“We want to remind people, particularly cyclists, how to use crossings as safely as possible.”



The new safety campaign aims to make cyclists aware of how they can reduce risks to themselves and their bikes at level crossings. Cyclists are reminded that an amber warning light at a level crossing is a call to stop, as a train is approaching. They are also urged to dismount at footpath level crossings to enable them to better stop, look and listen for trains. This will also help prevent their bike wheels getting stuck in the tracks, as these types of crossing were not designed with cyclists in mind.



The campaign, which will be delivered locally by Network Rail’s 100 level crossing managers, is supported by Sustrans, the charity behind the creation and management of the 14,000 mile National Cycle Network.



The campaign has been launched to coincide with International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), a global initiative to promote safe behaviour and raise public awareness of the dangers posed by level crossings. This year’s ILCAD is specifically targeted at pedestrians and cyclists who are urged: “Take your time, don’t risk your life”.



Network Rail is being supported at the safety events by colleagues from the British Transport Police (BTP). Inspector Becky Warren of BTP said: “We are delighted to support ILCAD.



“BTP works hard to promote safe use of crossings through education and enforcement.



“It is vital for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to obey signalling and signage at crossings. Failure to do so endangers the lives of both road and rail users.”



Network Rail is investing £100million into its programme to improve level crossing safety between up until 2019. Over the last six years it has:



  • Closed more than 950 level crossings
  • Replaced footpath crossings with footbridges
  • Installed warning lights as an additional safety measure at a number of footpath crossings
  • Launched a new schools programme – Rail Life – teaching both primary and secondary school children about how to stay safe when crossing the railway
  • Rolled out safety camera enforcement vans
  • Invested in new technology, such as the obstacle detection radar technology
  • Introduced power operated gate openers
  • Installed spoken warnings to announce when “another train is coming” after one train has passed through a level crossing
  • Employed more than 100 new dedicated level crossing managers


Source:- Network Rail


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