Warning to level crossing users after narrow escape for jogger and cyclist

CCTV showing a close shave between a jogger, a cyclist and a Southeastern train has been released by Network Rail to show the danger of ignoring red lights and presuming no more trains are coming.

The incident took place at Whitehall level crossing, Canterbury, at the end of July. A train had passed over the crossing just before the cyclist and jogger arrived. The cyclist can be seen approaching the crossing clearly displaying a red light, dismounting, opening the gate for the jogger, and then re-mounting his bicycle to cycle across the crossing less than 5 seconds before a second Southeastern train passes at speed.

The train made an emergency stop and reported the incident.

The CCTV has been released to remind people that their actions can have serious consequences and put the welfare of passengers at risk too.

Network Rail Head of Route Quality Health Safety & Environment, Vincent van der Hoeven, said: “It’s really important to remember that when one train passes, another one may be coming the other way. In this case the jogger and cyclist had a red light to warn them, and they still walked out in front of a train.

“This adult pair’s behaviour, apparently putting their desire not to interrupt their exercise to cross the railway safely, nearly cost them their lives and is a clear example of how you put your life at risk as soon as you ignore the red light warning at level crossings.”

Jim Maxwell, Head of Drivers for Southeastern, added: “Our drivers are critical workers delivering a very important service, and don’t deserve the extra stress that these types of incidents cause.

“Reckless trespass incidents like this can have a profound effect on our drivers’ mental health and wellbeing, and I fully support our colleagues at Network Rail and the British Transport Police in trying to identify and pursue the culprits.”

Network Rail has also worked with British Transport Police on the uncompromising You vs Train campaign for three years, aiming to educate young people on the devastating and wide-reaching consequences of trespass but the message to adults is the same – Don’t risk your lives on the railway.

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