Managing risks at level crossings

Our policy on managing the risks from level crossings and how this should be carried out.

We expect level crossing risks to be appropriately controlled. We encourage innovative solutions to level crossing problems.

In all cases a risk assessment will need to show that due consideration has been given to safety and that risks have been reduced so far as reasonably practicable.

New proposals may be constrained, to some extent, by the need for consistency for example for road signs.

Where level crossings cannot be removed but are being renewed or altered, every effort should be made to improve the crossing and reduce risk to both crossing and railway users.

Certain types of crossing design, particularly automatic types, whilst fit for purpose when road and rail traffic use was lower, have been more likely to be misused with potentially high consequences when collisions occur.

Given the high cost when crossings are installed and their long service life, we expect that the safest suitable crossing for the site-specific risks will be selected when renewing a crossing.

Where protection arrangements are set out in a level crossing order, the crossing operator is required to ensure that the order is complied with.

In addition to this, however, crossing operators have general duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of all those using or affected by a level crossing. This means that crossing operators need to monitor regularly the suitability of arrangements and make changes when necessary.

Where the crossing is subject to a level crossing order, the crossing operator should request a new or amended order to reflect these changes.