A rail crossing in Burton Joyce that was closed after a record number of near misses has been reopened today (June 11) after improved measures were put in place to boost safety.
The crossing at Chestnut Grove was shut by Network Rail back in April after startling pictures were released showing teenagers sat on the rail line.
But following pleas from the public and interventions from local councillors, the crossing has today been reopened after a number of improvements were put in place to make the crossing safer.
It was today revealed by Network Rail experts who reopened the site that it had been ‘one of the worst in the country’ for near misses, with over 20 incidents reported over the past two years.
Vincent Briggs, who is route level crossing manager for Network Rail said ‘it had been in the top ten’ when asked about the most dangerous crossings in the UK.
The new measures unveiled today include improved signage, two new gates and surfacing.
A CCTV camera will also being installed over the coming weeks so it can be monitor incidents and a speaker can warn those in danger about oncoming trains.
Network Rail officers today invited local MP Tom Randall and borough and parish councillors to inspect the new safety work before opening it up to the public.
Following the reopening Burton Joyce resident Leslie Teasdale was one of the first to use the new crossing following the reopening.
He said: “When it was closed I was forced to take the long route round. It was awful. I’m really delighted it’s now open again. It’s an important crossing for people in Burton Joyce.
“Until I heard what Network Rail had to say today I had no idea it had been that dangerous; you open the gate and walk across so I don’t see what others are doing.”
“What they’ve done is really good. It should improve safety and keep this important crossing open”
Jayne Savage, who is deputy clerk of Burton Joyce Parish Council, said she was hopeful the measures put in place will keep people safe.
She told Gedling Eye: “It’s good they have the double gates on each side as hopefully this will stop people trying to come across with buggies and bikes. We even had someone try and get a horse across – the new gates will stop it.
“Let’s not forget: it’s not only about people safety but also about driver trauma as it must also be horrific for them. We are going to put out leaflets and something in the local magazine about safety first: always look
“Network Rail were very clear today that they have no problems in closing it again; we need to be aware of that.”
Councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams praised the efforts by Network Rail.
They said: “We represent the residents of Burton Joyce and they want this crossing open and we’ll support that.
“The measures we’ve seen today will really improve safety and we are grateful to Network Rail for that.
“The response to the story that ran that in Gedling Eye showed the public were horrified about seeing people sat that rail line.
“This is a fantastic connection to the riverbank, the local pub and the village centre and the residents want to keep it open – and so do we.
“We don’t want this closed and we will reach out to the community, print leaflets and talk to people to make sure they are educated – it’s a dangerous place to hang around in.”
Gedling MP Tom Randall was also one of the people invited to witness today’s improvements.
He said: “There has been a lot of concerns about this crossing and we’ve all seen those disturbing images of people on the tracks but hats off to Network Rail for coming in and making these improvements quickly.
“The new gates will make people thing twice before crossing. It’s not just a footpath to a river a beauty spot, its a rail crossing with lots of traffic and people should remember that
“As the local MP, the last thing I want to hear about is fatalities here in Burton Joyce, and I think these measures will prevent this.”