Engineers at a level crossing.(Network Rail Image)
Motorists cause numerous delays to passengers owing to the misuse of level crossings, with over 2,000 incidents each year, as highlighted in this week’s episode of Paddington Station 24/7.
Shocking footage, shown on the episode to be aired on Monday 15 October, captures a lorry driver ignoring warnings of an oncoming train a busy level crossing, ripping through the safety barriers as the vehicle speeds across the tracks.
The eight-part first series achieved a consistently high audience share for the Monday 9pm slot, averaging 1.3 million viewers per episode. The first half of series two, screened between March and June, was an equally big hit, with at least one million viewers tuning in for the first eight episodes.
The series follows railway workers on the Great Western Main Line as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents which are causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events, as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of Britain’s busiest stations.
This week, in an incredibly dangerous act, a lorry driver ploughs through level crossing barriers despite warnings of an oncoming train. Without the barriers in place, all signalling systems are affected, resulting in a time-consuming operation to manually talk trains past red signals – the traffic lights of the railway. Engineers are called out to replace the equipment at the 18-metre crossing, further adding to the delays caused by the reckless actions of the driver.
Daniel Collins Sponsor for Level Crossing Risk Reduction said:
“Every week there are approximately 46 incidents involving vehicles which take place at level crossings, with lorries the most common type of vehicles to be involved. Worryingly, research has shown that one in nine drivers would go straight over level crossings if they had checked the timetable and believed that no train was coming. This is particularly dangerous as freight trains and other trains not listed on the public timetable often pass through level crossings at speeds of up to 100mph.
“We are seeing drivers take risks at level crossings everyday – putting themselves and others in danger. Nothing is worth risking your life over, just to save a few minutes of time. By staying behind the barrier until it is safe to cross and paying attention to the warnings at level crossings, we can all keep ourselves and those in our vehicles out of harm’s way.”
Episode 15 of Paddington Station 24/7 will be aired on Monday 15 October on Channel 5 at 9pm with each episode shown on subsequent Monday evenings at the same time.