Level-crossing barriers must go, says designer

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The Independent Online

Half-barrier level crossings, similar to the one in the Ufton Nervet rail disaster this month, in which seven people died, should be replaced on high-speed lines, a rail expert says.

Half-barrier level crossings, similar to the one in the Ufton Nervet rail disaster this month, in which seven people died, should be replaced on high-speed lines, a rail expert says.

There are hundreds of half-barrier gates throughout the network, and an increasing number of motorists drive around them when they are closed, according to Stanley Hall, who was a senior member of the working party that set the standards for crossings. Eighteen people were killed at level crossings last year.

In the latest issue of Rail magazine, Mr Hall argues that in the 23 years since the state-owned British Rail started to install them, road traffic has increased significantly and there are more trains travelling at 100mph - the limit for the barriers. Crossings are triggered automatically by oncoming trains and are not monitored by CCTV.

Network Rail has told The Independent it has no intention of conducting a review.

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