Friday, 10 June 2011

Oh no; not the level crossing again.

I have mentioned our level crossing once or twice recently. That's because I go over it about 30 times a week. To day there was a bit of extra activity down at the crossing, police activity. British Transport Police together with civilian members of staff were out in force for much of the day with a film crew from ITV Western highlighting the inherent dangers of level crossings. Basically there are two main problems that can result in hundreds of tonnes of speeding train coming into violent and usually fatal contact with the human body. The first is the obvious one of trying to beat the barriers as they start to come down. They might lack the weight and speed of a passing train but if the action is mistimed they can make a nasty dint in the roof of a car. The barriers here in Paignton are full barriers so no chance of anyone trying to drive round the barriers, if you have half barriers where you live then don't be tempted. The second less obvious danger is driving on to the crossing without being able to drive of the crossing and that is the main problem here.

The two photos illustrate this, the first shows the young lads on their scoters keeping the crossing clear and the second shows a car sat with wheels on the rails. I’m not too bothered if a train comes alone and redesigns this car but if it did happen it would tend make a mess of our schedules; and the car and the train and traffic through Paignton for the next few hours. Keep the crossing clear.


Nathan Thorn said...

That's the report Dave, quite interesting actually.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, that junction should be traffic light controlled, taking in the level crossing as part of the junction. Would mean there is no traffic to queue onto the crossing in the first place.

Anonymous said...

That could be overkill though when it's less busy. Whatever you do, they'll still be one idiot who drives onto the crossing without room to get off again.

The main problem on supervised town centre crossings like this is that the controller can only put the gates down when the crossing is clear. Therefore, every single person who does stop their car on the tracks always gets away with every time it becuase the controller must wait for them.

Personally, I think that if they started closing the barriers onto the cars it would help with the problem. Imagine how scared you'd be if you were parked on the crossing and the barriers started closing, and you had nowhere to go. 1) They'd never do it ever again and 2) It would be brilliant for passers by to watch.