We’re issuing a fresh warning to drivers about the dangers of level crossing misuse after a lorry smashed through a barrier last Friday.

We have shared CCTV footage of the incident in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, which caused significant disruption and risked people’s lives:

It caused delays to passengers travelling between Kidderminster and Stourbridge after the incident took place shortly before 10am on Friday 22 November. Network Rail engineers worked to fix the barrier by 2:30pm.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Barriers at our crossings are there to keep motorists and train passengers safe. This lorry driver damaged our crossing, delayed train passengers and put their life and the lives of others at risk. 

“Although it might be tempting to jump the lights or race through the barriers our message is simple – just wait. Better to be safe than sorry.”

Britain has one of the safest level crossing records in Europe but people lose their lives driving through level crossings every year – and there are countless more near-misses. Of these, most incidents are simply because drivers ignore the warnings.

Drivers are always advised to:

  • Be prepared to stop at the crossing.
  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms). Download level crossings for drivers (pdf).
  • If the warnings activate, stop – unless it’s unsafe to do so.
  • Remain stationary until all the warnings stop.
  • Check that our exit is clear before driving across.

For more information on level crossing safety visit www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings-for-drivers/

Witnesses to this incident are urged to contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or completing this online form.