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83 people caught running red lights at Blythe Bridge Level Crossing

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

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DOZENS of reckless motorists have been caught running the red lights at a 'notorious' railway level crossing in nearly three years.

The drivers were captured on CCTV at Blythe Bridge level crossing.

The figures show 83 people flouted the law at the Uttoxeter Road crossing since April 2011.

Now British Transport Police has issued another warning about the dangers of ignoring the lights.

Sergeant John Price said: "This is a crossing that is well known to police because of the sheer volume of people who try to sneak through on red.

"There is CCTV and when we catch people once, they tend not to do it again fortunately.

"But there are still a really high amount of incidents there when you consider the high risk involved.

"Drivers disregarding the signals run the risk of a major incident and death.

"If the car goes through the barrier and causes a collision the driver could easily be killed and derail the train, killing or possibly injuring staff and passengers on board.

"If they aren't killed, they could badly damage their car, the train and the railway line.

"This also us time and resources of the emergency services that could be used elsewhere."

A total of 11 drivers were caught in 2011/12, with a further 52 snared in 2012/13 and another 20 since the start of the current financial year.

They received fines of between £35 and £400 in a total of £8,955. Among those captured include two 81-year-olds and two 18-year-olds.

Drivers could also face charges of careless driving or dangerous driving, depending on the severity of the offence. Typical sentences include a fine of at least £100 and three points on their driving licence.

Forsbrook Parish councillor Gill Burton said: "This crossing has been problematic for a long time.

"I'm surprised to hear so many people are continuing to disregard the signals, even now there's CCTV.

"It is a busy road and people get held up at crossings so I think it comes down to people being impatient. But it's just not worth it. It's so incredibly dangerous, just wait, or drive a different route."

The crossing is protected by lights, audible warning and full barriers.

The barrier has had to be replaced several times recently after being hit by vehicles.

Network Rail's community safety manager Liz Reedy said: "Every day we see someone risking their lives, and potentially those of others.

"Our cameras regularly record people jumping the lights, weaving around the barriers when they are descending and speeding through at highly dangerous speeds.

"We appreciate the delay to journeys caused by waiting for the crossing can be frustrating, but it is essential people remember that it is there to protect them from trains which can take the length of up to 20 football pitches to stop.

Two trains an hour go through the crossing and the barriers are down for up to ten minutes.

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