Drivers are being warned to be patient at busy levels crossings in Essex following two incidents on the same day in close proximity to each other.

Footage released by Network Rail shows a careless driver jump the red lights at the Manningtree crossing earlier this month on the A137 Ipswich Road.

After jumping the red lights which were flashing to indicate that the barrier was about to come down, the driver moved into the right-hand lane and appears oblivious to the other traffic which was already starting to queue. He indicated to move back into the left lane to complete the dangerous manoeuvre narrowly avoiding a collision with oncoming traffic.

The same footage also shows a second car frantically reversing and pulling into the right-hand lane to avoid the barrier dropping onto their car.

A second incident happened on the same day about ten miles away at East Gates crossing in Colchester. A car went through the red, flashing lights and a second driver, completely disregarded the signals and dangerously raced across the tracks as the barriers were descending.

Rupert Lown, Network Rail Anglia’s director of safety, said: “Level crossings if not used properly can be dangerous due to the fast-moving trains.

“Barriers and lights are there to protect drivers from the oncoming trains which travel up to 100 mph on those particular lines. Drivers should not be risking their lives and the lives of others by ignoring red lights and racing to get through the barriers.

“I would urge drivers to be patient at the crossings. These drivers were extremely lucky no one was injured, but the outcome could be very different next time.”