Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Gates to go up at Wareham danger crossing


A woman is caught on film running across the crossing with a pram

New electronic gates are set to be installed at a Dorset railway crossing where pedestrians have been seen risking their lives to cross.

Work starts next week at the Wareham station crossing which Network Rail said was among the worst in the UK for people crossing on a red light.

It has previously released CCTV footage showing a mother pushing her baby in a pram in front of an oncoming train.

Dorset County Council said it was "one of the most dangerous in the country".

Network Rail wanted to shut the level crossing in December, a decision supported by safety regulators, but residents protested that it would cut the town in half.

Instead transport police and private security guards were brought in to supervise the crossing.

The new gates will be manually controlled by a supervisor and will allow the crossing to be cleared of pedestrians when a train is coming.

Temporary solution

Installation work will begin on Monday and is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.

It will be a temporary solution until plans for a new footbridge or gates controlled remotely by CCTV are finalised.

A spokesman for Dorset County Council, which manages the crossing, said: "The un-gated crossing [at Wareham] has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the country due to the problem of people ignoring the warning lights.

"Network Rail, Dorset County Council and the local community are working together to find a safe, permanent solution.

"Until a new way to cross the railway on foot, bike or mobility scooter can be agreed, the temporary gates and fencing will ensure that people can continue to safely use the existing crossing.

"The measures will also help stop the dangerous misuse by a significant minority of people that has recently been captured on CCTV."

Network Rail hopes to have the station footbridge, which was shut because of frost damage, reopened in the next few weeks.

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