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Voice warnings to improve safety at level crossings in Selby and York

Network Rail is installing spoken warning alarms at seven level crossings in Selby and York. They are designed to improve safety for users through a vocal alert that another train is coming.

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “Sad experience has taught us that once a train has gone through a crossing, some people think they are safe to cross even if the usual warnings of lights and barriers remain active. We hope the spoken alarm warning that another train is coming through will make it clearer to people that it is still unsafe to cross.”

Next week (9 July) the new warning systems are being installed near York at Hunmanby Station, Nether Lane, Nafferton, Cranswick and Arram level crossings and near Leeds at Wressle and Eastrington. These crossings currently have a two-tone yodel which becomes more frequent and higher pitched after the passage of the first train to warn that a second is coming. Research by RSSB, the industry safety body, has suggested that voice messages mixed with the standard tones are more likely to be understood and obeyed. The new alarm now says “warning, another train is approaching”.

Mr Verster added: “Level crossings are a vital part of our safety system on the railway. The London North Eastern route has almost 2,000 crossings between London and Scotland. Where we can we are looking to replace them with alternative means of crossing the railway. However that is not possible in all cases, so devices such as spoken alarms help make crossings easier to use and improve safety.”