Driver’s near miss with train at level crossing near Rye

Drivers are being reminded to watch for and stop when red warning lights are displayed at automatic half barrier crossings.

It comes after a near miss at a level crossing near Rye last month.

Network Rail said the incident occurred during the day on November 28 on the A259 at Star crossing, East Guldeford.

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A driver in a Volkswagen car ignored the flashing red lights stopping just short of the railway line from Rye to Ashford and within the level crossing boundary, Network Rail added.

The crossing where the near miss happened. Picture by Scott Wilson/Network Rail SUS-201218-120120001

It added that the barriers then came down on the car and the driver decided not to proceed over the railway, or to exit the crossing area for his own safety.

A freight train then came through the level crossing at speed with the driver and his vehicle just feet away.

There has been a spike in near misses at level crossings in East Sussex in recent months with this latest incident being the 10th since June, Network Rail said.

Most automatic half-barrier level crossings in Kent and Sussex have safety enforcement cameras fitted with the remaining crossings due to have cameras installed soon.

Toby Broyad, level crossing manager for Network Rail, said: “This is a sobering reminder of the dangers of drivers not being alert when driving, and not following the Highway Code.

“We are investing heavily in ‘Red Light Safety Cameras’ and while luckily no-one was injured in this incident, the police will prosecute drivers who take a risk at level crossings, not just with their own lives but with the safety of our staff and passengers.

“Many of our level crossings now have safety enforcement cameras and they risk a fine and points on their license should they ignore the warnings and safety of others.”

If members of the public see anyone misusing a level crossing they are asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.

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