You’ll find level crossings at various locations across the railway where roads and footpaths need to cross the track.
They help pedestrians, road traffic and animals cross safely.
Network Rail is responsible for the operation of level crossings. And there are many different types. For example there are automated barrier crossings with warning lights for busy highways and gated footpath crossings for urban and rural areas.
Network Rail assess each crossing carefully and give them an appropriate level of protection in line with safety guidelines approved by His Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate. So the type of crossing provided in any particular location is carefully considered and depends on factors including speed and frequency of trains, and volume of traffic on the road.
When you’re using a level crossing, remember to:
- read the warning signs and follow the instructions carefully
- if you’re on a bike, dismount and walk
- supervise children and animals
- stop, look both ways and listen
- when the line is clear, cross quickly without running (keep looking and listening)
- if there is a gate, always close it behind you.
If you're driving, follow the Highway Code - as well as the warning signs provided locally – as well as these basic rules:
- read and obey the warning signs on the approach to the crossing
- warning lights, audible alarms and automatic barriers should be observed
- do not be tempted to 'jump' the lights or beat the barriers. At many locations 'Gatso' cameras are being installed to observe crossing misuse and you could be prosecuted
- at some locations, a telephone provides a direct link to the signalman. If in doubt, always call the signalman to check if it is safe to cross.
You can help make crossings safer by setting a good example and insisting that your family, friends and other users obey the rules. Missing a level crossing could lead to death or serious injury to yourself or others, including people on the train.
Remember, do not take risks. Think safely, act safely.
If you’d like more information about railway safety, please contact the Network Rail national helpline on 03457 114 141 or visit Network Rail.
If you see anyone other than railway staff or contractors on the track, please call the British Transport Police on 0800 405 040.