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.  Cottonmill Lane level crossing is the 6th highest risk out of 770 level crossings that we manage on the London North Western route.

In recent months we have considered feedback from more than 200 crossing users about alternative options to the crossing (available to view below).  After careful consideration and in recognition of public opinion, we are no longer looking at closing the crossing and will instead prioritise the enhancement of the level crossing to reduce risk to the public as low as reasonably practicable.

Work that is currently being planned for delivery in 2019 to improve safety at the crossing, will:

  • Straighten the crossing to remove the skewed approach;
  • Install new fencing to turn users in each direction before crossing;
  • Renew the crossing surface to reduce the risk of pushchairs/wheelchairs becoming stuck;
  • Emphasise the danger zone with a bright yellow crossing surface;
  • Draw attention to the crossing “decision point” with white fence posts and ground markings;
  • Improve the gates so that they self-close properly whilst remaining appropriately weighted;
  • Retain the 20mph speed restriction to the railway over the crossing.

In addition to this work we will:

  • Deliver a targeted safety campaign with, and for, the local community;
  • Undertake further census and safety monitoring of the crossing following introduction of the enhancements.

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.