Transport Select Committee to hold inquiry into level crossing safety

12.00 | 25 June 2013 | | 3 comments

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has welcomed the Transport Select Committee’s decision to hold an inquiry into the safety of the UK’s 8,000 level crossings.

PACTS’ call for the review was one of just seven recommendations among 113 put to the Transport Select Committee to be taken forward for its programme of activity into 2014.

There are between 7,500 and 8,000 level crossings in Great Britain. In 2012, six people died at level crossing accidents.

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said: “PACTS is very pleased that the Transport Select Committee has taken up our suggestion to hold an inquiry to safety at level crossings.

“This will put the parliamentary spotlight on one of most critical areas of rail safety. PACTS will do all it can to support the Committee in this important inquiry.”

David Morris, former deputy chief inspector of railways and chair of the PACTS Rail Safety Working Party, said “Level crossings represent the largest single risk of catastrophic train accidents on Britain’s rail network.

“In 2012, six people died at level crossing accidents (three in motor vehicles and three pedestrians). This excludes deaths due to trespass or suicide. It is entirely appropriate that the Select Committee should look at this matter.”  


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    Is there really anything wrong with our level crossings or is it just that some drivers in the main choose to take a risk which is down to their behaviour? I just wonder whether I am missing something here or whether the select committee could better use their time on other issues?

    Graham Feest
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    living near to a crossing, I regularly see risks taken with drivers slaloming thro’ barriers to beat them going down. Rarely do you hear of a prosecution. In defence the crossing comes down a ridiculous length of time before a train comes.

    Olly, Lancs
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    The statistics suggest that level crossings are as safe as they can reasonably be, as it would seem that 99.999999% of road users are passing through without incident. The quoted fatality record, spread over 8,000 locations, is no worse than a stretch of a typical well-used, high-speed ‘A’ road comprising two or three junctions. Incidents at level crossings do seem to make the news more than road traffic accidents hence the public’s perception of them being ‘unsafe’.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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