LETTER: Half-barrier crossing must go

Level crossing (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Level crossing (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Under the headline ‘Councillor calls for closure of Wick level crossing after tragic deaths’ (Littlehampton Gazette, March 1, and Herald online) Arun district councillor Mike Northeast called upon the council and the developers of the North Littlehampton housing estate to speed up the building the proposed Lyminster bypass and road improvements so that the level crossing in Toddington Lane in Wick can be closed.

His appeal followed on from the deaths of a man and his grandson who died when a car and a train collided at the level crossing in Emms Lane, Barns Green, in February.

Cllr Northeast has been told that, since new cameras were installed at the Toddington Lane level crossing in 2015, 651 motorists have been caught and prosecuted for abusing the red warning lights, a figure that I find quite astounding.

Why on Earth would so many drivers risk their lives dodging around these barriers, just to save just a few minutes of their time?

It will, of course, be a long time before the bypass gets built and, in the meantime, this crossing will continue to be misused, in common with all the similar ones throughout the county.

And remember, it’s not just the lives of drivers at stake here; those of the train drivers and passengers are also put at risk.

I would have thought that, as a temporary measure until the crossing can be closed for good, this level crossing should be protected by full-width barriers as opposed to the present half-barriers.

If anyone from Network Rail is reading this letter perhaps they can contact the Herald/Gazette and explain why this has not yet happened and how many more incidents, or lives lost, have to occur before it does.

Eric Waters

Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

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