A level crossing is where a railway line is crossed by a road or right of way without the use of a tunnel or bridge.
There are approximately 8,000 level crossings in Great Britain. Around 6,500 are managed by Network Rail. The rest are located on heritage railways, metro systems and industrial railways.
Great Britain's level crossings, although among the safest in Europe, still pose a significant safety risk to the public. ORR wants the rail industry to close level crossings. Where this is impracticable, we are pushing the industry to deliver innovative solutions such as using new technology to make crossings safe. ORR inspects level crossings to check that legal safety requirements are being met. Where failings are found, immediate action is taken to ensure the crossing is made safe.
Ian Prosser, ORR Director of Railway Safety
Almost half of all deaths and serious injuries on Britain's railways occur at level crossings. We believe that the safe design, management and operation of level crossings can reduce the risks, have a positive effect on user behaviour and so reduce the number of fatal and serious incidents.
Our policy on managing the risks from level crossings and how this should be carried out.
Our policies and aims to help make sure safety risks are controlled at level crossings.
This page sets out the law on level crossings, to whom it applies and what they are expected to do to comply. It also provides information on the Law Commission review of level crossing law.