Cyclist within inches of being hit by train after dodging level-crossing barrier

Footage of incident released by police in attempt to identify the woman

A cyclist has come within inches of being hit by a train after dodging a level-crossing barrier.

Footage of the incident, which happened at the Waterbeach crossing in Cambridgeshire, has been released by British Transport Police in an attempt to identify the woman and highlight the dangers of misusing level crossings.

The woman is seen approaching the crossing as the barriers are down.

She passes through the barriers and on to the line before braking hard. Just seconds later the trains passes.

Pc Matt Mildinhall said: "This woman simply put her life on the line by not only ignoring the warning lights but went through the barriers and on to the line.

"We are very keen to speak to her about the incident and explain the danger she not only put herself in but others around the crossing at the time."

The driver of the train had to apply the emergency brake before the cyclist stepped back, narrowly avoiding being struck.

More than 100 trains a day travel through Waterbeach level crossing, reaching speeds of up to 75mph.

Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia's head of safety, said that thankfully the train driver reacted very quickly.

"Not only was this incident very traumatic for the driver, but it could have resulted in the cyclist being killed. It is really important that everyone follows the safety instructions at level crossings," he said.

Publication of the footage of the incident, at about 6.30pm on September 12, comes after Network Rail recently launched its latest safety campaign called Track Tests, which revealed a third of people think they would hear a train in time to move out of the way.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail route managing director, said: "This is one of the closest incidents of near miss we've seen.

"The person using the crossing not only didn't hear the train but ignored the warning lights and barriers, putting her life, the lives of passengers and the train driver in danger.

"Warning systems at level crossings are there for a reason, to protect users from the railway. I hope the release of this footage will highlight the importance of following the safety advice at level crossings."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting background reference B8/LNA of 25/09/2013.

Additional reporting PA

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