A level crossing is a point where the railway meets a road or footpath at the same level. There are nearly 6,000 level crossings on the rail network across England, Wales and Scotland. These crossings fall into two broad categories:
Passive crossings – there is no warning of a train’s approach other than by the train driver who may use the train horn. It is the user’s responsibility to stop, look and listen to check whether it is safe to cross.
Active crossings – the user is warned of a train’s approach through closure of gates, barriers, warning lights and/or alarms. The operation of an active crossing can either be automatic or manual (by a rail operator).
With five accidental fatalities in 2022/23 we must never forget how dangerous level crossings can be. Closing level crossings is the only way to fully eradicate the risk, in fact we’ve closed over 1,300 crossings since 2009. However, we know that closing our level crossings isn’t always a realistic option for the communities they serve
To find out more about level crossing safety please visit Network Rail’s Level Crossing safety page