Rail safety warning issued after motorist level crossing misuse in Anglesey
Network Rail in Wales and Borders, British Transport Police and Arriva Trains Wales are calling for motorists in Anglesey to use level crossings safely following a recent rise in reported instances of deliberate misuse at Gaerwen and Valley level crossings.
The crossings are controlled by traffic lights and barriers. Since April this year, there have been ten recorded instances of motorists continuing over the crossings despite the lights showing red or the barriers lowering.
Stephen Jones, level crossing manager for Network Rail Wales and Borders said: “Safety is our top priority and I cannot stress enough how important it is that people use level crossings correctly.
“Driving over a crossing when the lights are red or the barriers are down may save you five minutes of your time, but it could have devastating consequences.
“We’re working closely with the British Transport Police to tackle this issue, but we need people to do their bit too, and recognise the dangers of the railway.”
Nathan Lewis, British Transport Police PCSO responsible for Anglesey, said: “Level crossings are commonplace on our roads and are there to keep people safe. We understand that waiting at a crossing can be frustrating, but second guessing when a train is due through simply isn’t worth the risk.
“We continue to work closely with Network Rail to improve knowledge and, where necessary, to take action against those who continue to misuse Gaerwen and Valley level crossings. We have also teamed up with colleagues from North Wales Police in Anglesey to jointly patrol both areas and have worked to raise awareness among residents.
“However, despite ongoing warnings, some motorists are still continuing to risk their lives by misusing the crossings.
“Education is key to everything we do – we are more interested in preventing accidents and saving lives than enforcement. By informing people of the potential dangers of misusing crossings, and how to use them safely, we aim to reduce incidents at both these sites.
“However, drivers who willingly flout the law and place themselves and others in danger should be in no doubt that if caught doing so, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“Taking a chance at a crossing can have dire consequences. Stop, think and be sensible, because one moment of impatience could result in lives being destroyed.”
Bethan Jelfs, Customer Services Director for Arriva Trains Wales said: “Driving through a level crossing when the lights are on red or the barriers are coming down puts not just yourself and your passengers at risk but also the lives of everyone on-board the approaching train.
“We are working closely with Network Rail and British Transport Police to help spread this message and it’s really important that drivers take it on-board. Trying to make a saving of a couple of minutes is just not worth it.”