Cottonmill Lane Level Crossing

As part of our national level crossing risk reduction programme  we want to improve the safety at Cottonmill Lane level crossing.

We have a legal responsibility to keep people safe near and on the railway and part of this is managing safety at level crossings.

We are concerned about the safety at Cottonmill Lane level crossing.  Our current risk assessment places Cottonmill Lane as 6th highest in risk out of 770 level crossings that we manage on the London North Western route.

We believe the most effective way of reducing the risk posed by Cottonmill Lane is to close the crossing and to replace it with an alternative route across or around the railway. We have looked at a number of different proposals and these were shared with the public during an engagement event at St Julian's church hall on Tuesday 11th September. The proposals can be viewed below. We are now considering the feedback we have received.

To permanently close a level crossing and divert a public right of way, we must first submit an application to the relevant local authorities for approval. Residents will be informed when a formal application has been made to close the crossing and they will have the opportunity to express their views. The case may then be referred to the Planning Inspectorate for judgement. More information on this process can be found on our reducing risk at level crossings page.

In the meantime, we are looking at making the improvements below at the earliest available opportunity;

  • Straightening the crossing to remove the skewed approach
  • New fencing to turn users in each direction close to the decision point, with a chicane to encourage cyclists to dismount
  • Renewal of the crossing surface to reduce the risk of pushchairs/wheelchairs becoming stuck

How we assess safety at Cottonmill Lane level crossing

All level crossings are monitored by a designated level crossing manager and it is their role to manage safety at the crossing. The level crossing manager considers a range of factors when assessing the level of risk at a crossing. These include (but are not limited to): the volume and character of crossing use; the frequency of trains; sight lines along the railway; the railway line speed; the crossing width; the crossing’s history of incidents and dangerous behaviour.

At Cottonmill Lane we have observed particularly high levels of dangerous behaviour, some of which is deliberate but much appears to be accidental. This is one of the reasons that we are concerned about safety at Cottonmill Lane. The railway industry refers such behaviour as ‘user human error’ and ‘deliberate misuse’ and all of the incidents observed at Cottonmill Lane level crossing can be categorised in these ways.

This page will be regularly updated to include any new information about our work at Cottonmill Lane level crossing.

Anyone wishing to contact us about Cottonmill Lane level crossing can do so by emailing cottonmilllane@networkrail.co.uk or calling 0345 711 4141.