Safety drive targets Lydney level crossing

An awareness day to mark the launch of a safety drive to reduce misuse at Lydney level crossing is held today by Network Rail and the British Transport Police.

Lydney level crossing is one of the targeted hotspots for misuse and where there has been 22 cases of reported incidents caused by users not following safety rules in the last 12 months. At the event, the public will be urged to stay observant of the rules and will be reminded of the dangers of trespassing.

As part of the safety drive, Network Rail also has plans to upgrade the crossing to enhance safety at the crossing. The improvements include:

· New audible alarms to alert users

· Replace life-expired barriers with new ones to improve infrastructure reliability

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· Install new tactile paving

· Brighter environment with improved lighting

Liz Heading, community safety manager, Network Rail said: “The biggest risk associated with level crossings is drivers ignoring the warning signals and trying to race across or swerve around barriers before they close. Through this concerted campaign of educating the public and upgrading the level crossing, we aim to discourage risk taking and introduce a further level of safety.”

Sgt Julian Ribchester, officer in charge at BTP Gloucester, said: “Education is one of the key things we do around level crossings. We are working closely with Network Rail in the area to improve knowledge and, where necessary, to take action against those who continue to misuse crossings. Those who flout the law and ignore the crossing signs can expect action to be taken against them which could be in the form of a fine or points on their driving license. They could even end up in court.”

There are also plans to install an interlocking system, which adds another level of safety measure that will alert trains to stop if the barriers become faulty. The crossing will also be monitored by a signaller at a centralised control through a CCTV link at all times.

This planned upgrade has the approval from the Office of Rail Regulation and is also recommended by the Rail Accident Investigation Board.