Family group misuses level crossing in Essex

A group of two adults and two children taking photographs on railway tracks at Knights level crossing, Hutton, Essex.

Images of yet more people misusing level crossings have been released as Network Rail strives to encourage walkers to use them safely.

A family of four was spotted taking photographs on the tracks at a level crossing in Hutton, between Shenfield and Billericay in Essex on the Southend Victoria branch line.

Instead of crossing over quickly, two adults and two young children stopped to take photographs on the tracks at Knights level crossing in Hutton.

A train was less than three minutes away. On this line, trains can travel at up to 80mph, covering a mile in just 45 seconds. In addition, the number of train services have increased over the last few weeks as the lockdown ends, increasing the risk significantly.

Becky Crocker, Network Rail.

Becky Crocker, Network Rail’s community safety manager, was shocked by the images and has issued a warning to other users: “Level crossings are dangerous and, just as you wouldn’t stand in the middle of a busy road to take photographs, nor should you on a level crossing.

“Trains travel at high speeds and can’t swerve out of the way or stop quickly and you don’t always hear them until it is too late.

“The consequences are devastating and those who live to tell the tale are likely to have serious and often life-changing injuries. It’s really not worth it.”

She stressed that, at level crossings, pedestrians should:

  • Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.
  • Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.
  • Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.
  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms).
  • Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.

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