Cyclists’ guide to using level crossings published by Network Rail

Published on : Saturday, April 26, 2014

displaymedia-31-300x156A new online guide to help cyclists safely use level crossings has been launched by Network Rail.


Covering the potential dangers, and stressing the importance of never making assumptions before attempting to cross the railway track, the guide provides a useful reminder of the steps to take when approaching and using a level crossing.

Designed to promote best practice, the guide warns cyclists of the dangers of temptation – either to jump the lights or race around the barriers at crossings and reminds them of the need to remain alert at all times, avoiding the distraction of phones and music. Most importantly, it reminds motorists that they must never assume that there is only one train coming or use previous experience to guess when a train might come.

Darren Furness, head of level crossings for Network Rail said: “Britain has one of the safest railways in Europe but level crossings remain a risk. Cyclists face their own unique risks such as the potential for getting a wheel stuck when crossing the tracks diagonally. I’d urge them to take extra care, dismounting if safe to do so, and not jump the lights or race around the barriers.”

“We are investing £100 million in the next five years to upgrade and improve crossings across the country but we also want to help everyone who uses a level crossing have the knowledge they need so that they can approach a level crossing with confidence, knowing that they have taken every precaution necessary to get to the other side safely.”

The guide is available on the Network Rail in both interactive form and as downloadable PDF. It has been produced in partnership with the Office of Rail Regulation and the Heritage Railway Association. Other guides targeted at pedestrians, horse riders and motorists have also been produced.

Network Rail has invested £130 million into its programme to improve level crossing safety between 2010 and 2014. During this time it has:

• Closed nearly 800 level crossings
• Replaced footpath crossings with footbridges
• Installing warning lights as an additional safety measure at 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
• Employed more than 100 new dedicated level crossing managers
• Community safety managers who work closely with local groups, councils and schools to raise awareness

Network Rail has pledged to close a further 500 crossings in the next five years, investing £100 million into the national level crossing safety programme.

Source:- Network Rail

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