There are around 6,000 crossings on our rail network and we have a legal duty to assess, manage and control the risk for everyone
Level crossings fall into five distinct categories 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 where the crossings are located.
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.
We strive to improve safety by managing and mitigating the risk at crossings. Education and safety campaigns are a fundamental part of this.
A safer railway
We can eliminate risk by closing crossings where agreement can be reached to do so. Between 2009 and 2014 we delivered the following as part of our commitment to a safer railway:
- closed over 800 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 45 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.
During the five years between 2014 and 2019, we are focused on:
- closing a further 350+ level crossings
- rolling out level crossing red light safety cameras, with 32 currently installed across the network (August 2017)
- installing power-operated gates at 77 user-worked crossings
- commissioning 65 audible warning devices at high-risk footpath crossings
- delivering a programme of miniature stop lights for installation at user-worked crossings.