General information on level crossings and our current policies are set out on this page.
Statement on level crossings by Ian Prosser, ORR's Director of Safety:
"Great Britain's level crossings, although among the safest in Europe, pose a significant rail safety risk to the public. ORR wants the rail industry to close level crossings, but where this is impracticable is pushing the industry to deliver innovative solutions such as implementing new technology to make crossings safe. ORR inspects the industry's management of 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."
What is a level crossing?
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.
How many level crossings are there?
There are approximately 8,000 level crossings in Great Britain. Around 6,500 of these are managed by Network Rail. The rest are located on heritage railways, metro systems and industrial railways.
Level crossing risk
Level crossings account for nearly half of the catastrophic train accident risk on Britain's railways. 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.
In this section
- Types of level crossings – descriptions of level crossing types.
- Managing risks at level crossings – our policy on managing the risks from level crossings and how this should be carried out.
- Using level crossings safely – guidance aimed at businesses, landowners and individual users who may use passive crossings on a regular basis.
- Policy – our current level crossings policy including new (January 2015) guidance on our policy and approach to handling requests for new crossings. PDF, 83 Kb
- Legislation – the law on level crossings.
- Safety Performance – for the latest information on the safety performance of level crossings.