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Drivers run red lights at level crossing as rail barriers glitch

PUBLISHED: 15:32 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:38 28 October 2019

Engineers checking the level crossing after carrying out repairs. Photo: Bill Smith

Engineers checking the level crossing after carrying out repairs. Photo: Bill Smith

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A faulty level crossing has been branded "an accident waiting to happen" after drivers were seen going through red lights to get across.

Disruptions were caused by faulty barriers at a level crossing in Brandon. Drivers dangerously crossed the train tracks despite flashing lights warning of oncoming trains. Photo: Victor LukaniukDisruptions were caused by faulty barriers at a level crossing in Brandon. Drivers dangerously crossed the train tracks despite flashing lights warning of oncoming trains. Photo: Victor Lukaniuk

The level crossing in Brandon, Suffolk, saw disruptions from 11.30am to 4pm on Sunday, October 27, as faulty barriers meant drivers were crossing the tracks despite flashing red lights warning of oncoming trains.

Victor Lukaniuk, Suffolk county councillor for Brandon, described it as an accident waiting to happen and has hit out Network Rail for the crossing's repeated failures - and said it needs to be closed for good.

Mr Lukaniuk said: "It's absolutely outrageous. One of the barriers was down and three were up, lights were on red but vehicles were still coming through.

"It's an accident waiting to happen. These faults are happening all of the time but Network Rail is ignoring the warning signs."

Police were called by a member of the public at 11.30am on October 27, who had witnessed the faulty barriers and cars crossing the tracks dangerously.

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A spokesperson from Network Rail said: "We are very sorry for the delays at Brandon level crossing on Sunday afternoon. There was a power fault with the system which affected the barriers from performing as they should.

"Engineers were on site quickly to initiate repairs and manually operate the barriers while trains in the area were cautioned through the crossing at slower speeds.

"The safety of crossing users is our priority and while we know there have been historic issues with this level crossing in the past, we have put in place a rigorous maintenance regime which means we have seen far fewer failures since 2016, but we will continue to monitor the situation."

The malfunctioning level crossing is a regular talking point amid claims it regularly gets stuck down for up to 30 minutes at a time.

Mr Lukaniuk added: "They should consider getting rid of this level crossing completely. Network Rail staff had to stop the traffic and men had to open and close the barriers manually - it's ridiculous.

"18 months ago it was revealed that there were over 100 failures on these barriers in Brandon.

"We are no longer going to stomach this service."

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