Shocking 1,080 people risk their lives misusing Shropshire level crossing
More than 1,000 people put their lives at risk misusing a level crossing over a nine-day period.
Network Rail in Wales and Borders said it had collected 1,080 reports of the misuse of Wem level crossing during a nine-day survey.
The staggering figure reveals that scores of car users and pedestrians were putting themselves and train passengers at serious risk.
Incidents observed during the survey included cars jumping red lights, seeking to get across as the barriers come down, and pedestrians jumping the barriers.
Network Rail also said that due to the layout of the crossing, which sees access roads joining the main road across the railway tracks, vehicles can also back up over the crossing – leaving some stationary on the tracks.
In that situation safety measures prevent the barriers from coming down and trains proceeding through the crossing.
Elsewhere in the county, as many as 15 incidents of misuse are being recorded every day at Onibury level crossing.
The situation has become so grave that two drop-in events are now being held for drivers and residents in the areas to learn more about level crossing safety.
Emily Coughlin, community safety manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “It’s really important for people to understand how dangerous railway crossings can be.
"We are seeing drivers take risks at level crossings every day – putting themselves and others in danger.
"Nothing is worth risking your life over, just to save a few minutes of time. I would encourage anyone interested in learning more to come along to one of our drop-in events.”
On February 19, an event will take place on the Roden Suite at Edinburgh House in Wem between 3pm and 7pm, with another at Onibury Village Hall on February 20.
Over the coming five years the organisation is planning to invest more than £14 million in level crossings, including plans to install permanent red light safety enforcement at Onibury level crossing.