Foxton level crossing in top ten riskiest in the country
PUBLISHED: 13:55 20 June 2013
FOXTON level crossing is in the top ten in the country when it comes to risky driving, according to British Transport Police (BTP).
Officers revealed the news about the crossing, on the A10 between Royston and Cambridge, at a meeting of the Meldreth, Melbourn and Foxton rail user group last week.
Train operator First Capital Connect (FCC) announced this week that it is installing cctv cameras at Foxton station, which is adjacent to the crossing, and county councillor Susan van de Ven, who chairs the rail user, said she hopes the cameras can be used to increase safety levels at the crossing.
Cllr van de Ven, who represents the Melbourn ward, said: “The officers who came to our meeting said the Foxton crossing was in the top ten in the country when it comes to misuse by drivers, which I found quite surprising.
“I know both the BTP and FCC consider safety at Foxton to be a big issue, both in terms of drivers, and pedestrians trespassing.
“Too much cctv is not something I’d necessarily advocate in general, but I think when it comes to safety it is a challenge to change people’s behaviour, and if these cameras can help with that then it’s a good thing.”
Several near-misses have been recorded at Foxton in recent years, with drivers speeding across as the barriers are coming down and a train is approaching.
The ongoing problems have led Network Rail to carry out a feasibility study to try and find an alternative method of crossing, with underpass and bridge solutions both being mooted. The results of this study are expected in the next few weeks.
Royston is also getting new cctv, with 15 additional cameras being installed by FCC. These will all be monitored by the BTP from their base in Edmonton, North London.
FCC Crime Prevention Manager Tony Holland said: “By installing CCTV at every single one of our stations, we help to make sure our passengers feel safe and deter would-be criminals. There is no place for crime in any of our stations or on any of our trains.”
A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: “Over the past 14 months, we have seen 39 incidents of misuse by drivers and pedestrians at Foxton level crossing.
“It’s only a matter of time before we see an incident where someone trying to shave a few minutes off their journey results in serious or even tragic consequences.”