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Level crossing upgrade programe completes

Crossing 2by3

A modular barrier system has been fitted to scores of level crossings to reduce the risk of cars colliding with trains.

Network Rail said the final two of 66 crossings had been upgraded under a three-year programme.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report identified automatic open level crossings as those with the highest risk of a collision on public roads, and Network Rail pursued a modular approach to upgrading high risk open crossings.

The first new barrier was fitted in 2012 at Ardrossan Harbour in North Ayrshire. Barriers at Brewster Lane and Matt Pitts Lane in Skegness, Lincolnshire, were brought into use this month as the programme concluded.

Network Rail director of safety Graham Hopkins said: “If we can’t close a level crossing, we’ll look to make it safer. By finding a new, more cost-effective solution to upgrading open crossings with these add-on barriers, we’ve been able to make 66 level crossings significantly safer than they were before, and reduce the risk of any further tragic accidents like the one at Halkirk.

“We’re continuing to invest around £100M to improve safety at level crossings and have closed almost 1,000 since 2010 and upgraded and improved hundreds more as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We have the safest railway in Europe and there hasn’t been an accidental level crossing fatality on our railway since February 2015, the longest period since this programme began. However we cannot be complacent and will continue to work every day to improve safety at level crossings and keep people safe.”

A fatal accident at Halkirk level crossing in Scotland in 2009 led to the RAIB report.

 

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