Level crossing safety

There are around 6,000 level crossings in Britain. Every day they are used by thousands of people to cross one of the busiest rail networks in the world

We invest in a wide-ranging programme, working with national and local organisations, to make level crossings safer and to help people use them correctly.

Trespassing on the railway is illegal and dangerous. You could be taken to court and face a £1000 fine.

Level crossings map

Information about all our level crossings including type, location, number of trains per day, line-speed and risk assessments.

There are around 6,000 level crossings on our rail network and we have a legal duty to assess, manage and control the risk for everyone.

Level crossings can be categorised by their type, but each is unique, so we’ve worked with our rail industry partners to develop a standardised method for assessing crossing risk. Factors taken into account include frequency of trains, frequency and types of users and the environment and where the crossings are located.

Risk assessment

Level crossings are assessed at a frequency that is based on the level of risk a crossing poses. The assessment frequency ranges from 1¼ to 3¼ years. You can find the latest Level crossing narrative risk assessments on the page Our information and data.

Safety education and Level crossing safety campaigns are a key part of our work to improve safety by managing and mitigating the risk at crossings.

A safer railway

We can eliminate risk by closing crossings where agreement can be reached to do so. Between 2009 and 2017 we delivered the following as part of our commitment to a safer railway:

  • closed 1,100 level crossings
  • improved sighting at over 1,100 crossings
  • fitted LED road traffic lights at 500 crossings, significantly improving their brightness
  • introduced new technology to better inform users of a second train approaching the crossing in quick succession to the first
  • repositioned over 250 crossing phones into safe areas for users
  • designed and commissioned a new type of level crossing featuring automatic obstacle detection technology
  • installed barriers at 66 open crossings
  • introduced a fleet of mobile safety vehicles for operation by the British Transport Police to discourage deliberate misuse and to record offences at level crossings
  • rolled out level crossing red light safety cameras, with 33 currently installed across the network (December 2017)
  • installed power-operated gates at 77 user worked crossings
  • commissioned 65 audible warning devices at high risk footpath crossings
  • delivered a programme of miniature stop lights for installation at user worked crossings.

Contact

Contact us if you have any queries or concerns relating to a level crossing. Please state the name of the level crossing in any communication.

Crossing Over film

The following film, for ages 12 and over, was filmed at the school attended by Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson, who were killed at a level crossing in Elsenham in 2005. It shows the dangers at level crossings and features an interview with Tina Hughes MBE, mother of Olivia Bazlinton.

Level crossings for drivers

Guidance for driving over level crossings

Level crossings for pedestrians

Guidance for pedestrians at level crossings

Level crossings for cyclists

Guidance for cycling over level crossings

Level crossings for horse riders

Guidance for horse riders at level crossings

Safety education

Educational resources developed with teachers and pupils about electrification on the railway, level crossings and railway safety

Reducing risk at level crossings

In 2010 we started a landmark level crossing risk reduction programme – here's how it's improving safety on the network

Deliberate abuse of level crossings

These real life videos show just how dangerous it is to deliberately abuse level crossings