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Level crossing events

We work with national and local organisations to make level crossings safer and to help people use them correctly.

There are more than 6,300 level crossings in Britain, and one of the busiest rail networks in the world. This is one of our critical risks and remains a priority area for us.

The data in this report includes:

  • incidents where a motorised vehicle is struck by, or strikes, a train
  • incidents where a pedestrian or user of a non-motorised vehicle is struck and fatally injured by a train
  • near misses (non-fatal incidents) with a motorised vehicle, non-motorised vehicle or pedestrian.

Results

2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/16
Level crossing misuse (MAA) England & Wales29.0727.0025.3924.3025.23
Level crossing misuse (MAA) Scotland1.851.311.690.851.69
Level crossing misuse (MAA) Network-wide30.9228.3127.0825.1526.00
Collisions with road vehicles10101074
Train striking pedestrian34693
Near miss with road vehicle11095957673
Near miss with non-vehicle users279259241235258
*MAA = Moving annual average
Note: Due to data refreshing, figures are different to those reported in the 2015 annual return.

Commentary

Over the past five years there has been a sustained reduction in the number of near misses with road vehicles. In 2015/16 there were four collisions with road vehicles which is a reduction compared to previous years. There were three accidental adult fatalities at level crossings in the past year, all of which were pedestrians. Additionally, there was a period of 12 months in 2015/16 when there were no fatalities, which is the longest such period on record.

There was an increase in near misses reported at level crossings in 2015/16. The MAA of reported incidents where users did not follow the intended procedure at level crossings increased by 3.7 per cent to 26.08 since 2014/15. The number of pedestrians struck by trains is the lowest it has been since the end of 2011/12.

Closing level crossings remains an important part of our strategy for the rest of CP5. We closed 76 level crossings in the year and continued to develop and deploy risk reduction measures to enable and encourage safe use. Improved tools for understanding patterns of use and narrative risk assessments are helping us to target action for the greatest risk reduction. We have developed a long-term risk reduction strategy for level crossings that involves improved engagement with users and local communities.

The cumulative benefits achieved from level crossing closure and implementation of risk reduction measures since the end of CP4 is 1.564 Fatalities and Weighted Injuries (FWI) per year as calculated by the All Level Crossing Risk Model (ALCRM). This equates to a safety benefit of 12.4 per cent of the CP4 exit FWI (12.623) per year.