The closure of 174 level crossings in Wales means Network Rail has now reached its target, set in 2010, of closing 10% of Britain’s crossings – 750 in total – by April 2014, contributing to a reduction in the overall risk level crossings pose to the network by 25%.
The majority of crossings closed are footpath or user worked crossings (on private land and largely used by land owner, farmers, delivery and utility vehicles but run across main line railway).
Across the route 13 crossings have been upgraded with barriers and two crossings have been upgraded with spoken warnings alerting users that another train is approaching when one has already passed through,
Mark Langman, route managing director, Network Rail Wales, said: “Whilst reaching this significant and important milestone, we remain focused on improving safety and reducing the risk that level crossings pose. We are fully committed to reducing the number of level crossings across Wales and continue to look at ways to make crossings more reliable, as well providing alternative means to cross the railway.”
“Successfully closing a crossing isn’t always a straightforward process, so we will need the support from local authorities, landowners and the public to help us achieve our new target and improve safety further still.”
Since 2010 the company has invested £131m in a national level crossings improvement programme. By the end of March 2014 this will result in:
- 38 footbridges to replace crossings
- GPS technology installed on the Marks Tey – Sudbury line allowing signallers’ to pinpoint a train’s location and provide better safety information to those requesting permission to cross
- ‘Wavetrain’ sound vibration technology trialed at Whitehouse Priory View crossing in Norfolk
- 57 new spoken warnings installed to announce “another train is coming” when one train has already passed through
- 250 power operated gate openers installed to prevent vehicle owners crossing the tracks on foot unnecessarily or gates being left open
- 21 crossings fitted with red light safety cameras to dissuade motorists from jumping the lights.
- National TV and digital advertising campaign – See Track, Think Train
- Rail Life schools awareness campaign www.rail-life.co.uk