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BTP: Why take a risk at Gloucestershire level crossings?

September 26, 2012, 12:02 pm

Thats the question being posed by British Transport Police (BTP) and Network Rail in Gloucestershire seeking to tackle ongoing issues at level crossings in the area.

Crossings at Alstone Lane, Cheltenham, and Horton Road, Gloucester, have been on BTP and Network Rails radar for some time with some motorists and pedestrians continuing to misuse them, putting themselves and others at risk.

As a result, officers have been working to reduce incidents at the crossing, liaising with Network Rail staff to educate drivers and pedestrians and put extra safety measures in place.

PC Alan Fishpool, of BTP Gloucester, said: “For some reason, some drivers and some people crossing on foot seem only too happy to take risks at these level crossings just to shave a few seconds off their journey times.

“No amount of time saved is worth putting lives at risk – yet this is exactly what some motorists and members of the public seem prepared to do.

“Both BTP and Network Rail have been working around the clock to educate people about the danger of misusing level crossings, but all too often we find that it seems to be falling on deaf ears.”

On Wednesday, 19 September 2012, BTP officers, Network Rail staff and staff from train operator First Great Western were at Alston Crossing, speaking to motorists and taking action against those who were seen to misuse the crossings.

And, as a result of this, three motorists have been reported for suspected crossing-related offences and will be receiving Notices of Intended Prosecution (NIPs) from BTP shortly.

Liz Heading, Network Rail Community Safety Manger, said: “Jumping the barriers and ignoring warning signs is sadly a sight we see all too often, and in many cases with tragic outcomes.

“Level crossings are safe but, if misused, they all pose very real risks. Were driving home the message that misusing a level crossing is just not worth it.

“By trying to save a few seconds, you could end up losing your life.”

PC Fishpool added: “Last Wednesdays initiative will not be a one-off. We will continue to work closely with our colleagues at Network Rail to continue to drive the safety message home and encourage everyone – on foot or in vehicles – to obey the warning signs and traffic signals at level crossings in Gloucestershire.

“They are there for your safety – not to inconvenience you.”

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