Published on : Saturday, April 26, 2014
A new online guide to help horse riders 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 prompts horse riders to take steps such as ensuring that they have sufficient time to cross safely, especially when in a group and making sure that both sets of gates are closed when they’ve used the crossing – for the safety of all level crossing users. Most importantly, the guide reminds horse riders of the need to dismount at a level crossing and to be mindful of how their horse might react to the alarms, lights and other noises that might be present.
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. Horse riders face their own unique risks; for example, we want to remind riders to take special care as their extra height and carrying a whip means they are closer to the electrified overhead lines which carry up to 25,000 volts.”
“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, cyclists 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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