May 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about Creek Road Crossing, on the Ely to Peterborough line, posing a risk to the public.
It is a wide four-track full barrier crossing, heavily used by pedestrians and vehicles. The reporter has noticed a large gap in the safety fence. It is possible for members of the public to access the railway by passing between the upside barrier when the barriers are lowered.
Another concern is about the lack of audible warning equipment, or yodels, at this crossing, particularly as most crossings have these. Although there are warning lights at the barriers, these are at traffic level height and may be missed by pedestrians. The wide crossing could contribute to the time it takes pedestrians to cross over and the reporter is aware of instances when pedestrians have been shut between the barriers.
The CCTV cameras installed at the crossing are supposed to be used to monitor traffic flow and help identify vehicles that may ignore barrier warning lights: could Network Rail use these cameras to monitor the safety problems at this crossing; also, could Network Rail review the safety measures at the crossing and possibly repair the fence; and consider installing yodels at the crossing?
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for raising the concern. The CCTV cameras at this crossing are there to allow the operator a good view of the crossing being clear of any obstructions prior to allowing trains to travel over. Naturally, should incidents of route crime be witnessed, any necessary action can be taken by the operator (yet this is not the sole purpose of the cameras). The provision of yodel alarms is considered on a regular basis through the mandated risk assessments of level crossings, as well as through subsequent inspections. The decisions on provision are made in conjunction with the HMRI.
This crossing was recently risk assessed and has not been categorised at a level to support a business case for it to be changed. The risk of a barrier injuring somebody is very low as the Signaller manually lowers the barriers and will stop lowering them if a pedestrian is within the crossing. Network Rail does monitor the levels of intrusion at level crossings and will continue to do so to make certain any necessary action is taken when trends arise.
The fencing has been damaged on numerous occasions, mostly due to HGV lorries turning into the side road and damaging the fence. Our maintenance teams have approached Cambridgeshire Highways requesting they install a bollard to prevent ongoing damage to the fence, but to date they have not carried out this work. Network Rail will actively continue to highlight the issue with the council. In the last few weeks some trespass guards have been installed at the crossing and the photograph of these are attached (below). This should reduce the amount of trespass at this crossing.