Page last updated at 01:48 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Train drivers continue slow-downs

Police at the scene of the collision in Halkirk [Pic: John Baikie]
The crossing at Halkirk in Caithness was the scene of three deaths in September

Train drivers continue to reduce speeds at gate-free railway level crossings following the deaths of three people, a railway workers' union has said.

Last month, Aslef's executive recommended members slowed down to 20mph when approaching the sites.

Angus MacKay and his wife Margaret and Mr MacKay's brother Donald were killed in an accident in September.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have called for assurances over safety at crossings not fitted with barriers.

An Aslef spokesman said the slow-down had not affected journey times because of the small number of such sites they crossed.

The union has also called for all Scotland's crossings to have barriers.

The action followed the deaths of the MacKays when their car was hit by a train at a gate-free level crossing in Halkirk.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott MSP has sought assurances from Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson that measures have been taken to improve safety at 23 unmanned gate-free sites in Scotland.

He said: "We need to know what immediate action he has taken as a stop-gap to prevent any more loss of life, who has the final say and we need to see the preliminary findings of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch's inquiry into the risks posed by these crossings.

"Public confidence needs to be restored in rail safety crossings."

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