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Railhub Archive
2003-02-25 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Measures to reduce the risk of obstruction of railways

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Department for Transport

Measures to reduce the risk of obstruction of railways

25 Feb 2003 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Guidance to reduce the risk of vehicles obstructing railway lines was announced today by Minister for Transport John Spellar.

The report "Managing the accidental obstruction of the railway by road vehicles" takes forward the recommendations made by the Health and Safety Commission and Highways Agency last year.

The report sets out:

- criteria for the apportion of responsibility and costs of improvements made at locations where roads meet, cross or run close to railways.

- guidance on enhanced risk assessments and physical measures to help reduce the risk of vehicles accidentally leaving the road and getting onto the railway.

- means to identify relevant information that it would be practicable and useful to collect about incidents where road vehicles get onto railway property.

In a written Ministerial statement Mr Spellar said:

"The report sets out the work of representatives of the highway authorities, railway infrastructure authorities and other organisations to identify the steps we consider should be taken jointly by railway infrastructure authorities and highway authorities to manage the risk of the accidental incursion of road vehicles onto the railway. It includes a protocol for apportioning responsibility and costs of mitigation measures. Also, following the adoption of an initial risk prioritisation framework a second stage assessment process has been produced for sites where the risk of a road vehicle accidentally getting onto the railway is not clear cut. Good practice guidance measures have been identified to help mitigate risk at specific sites. British Transport Police have agreed to collect the data about such incidents on a common basis. In order to update the standards for safety barriers on major roads in a clear and open procedure, the Highways Agency has let a contract and set up a technical project board to steer the update of standards for safety barriers on major roads in a clear and open procedure.

Copies of the report will be sent to all local highway authorities and railway infrastructure authorities."

Notes to Editors [[URLs below are no longer live. See related documents.]]

1. The Highways Agency report is available to download at

2. The HSE report is available to download at and as a printed item from HSE Books (tel 01787 881165 fax 01787 313995 or ISBN 07176 2294 0 price £5.00

3. Managing the accidental obstruction of the railway by road vehicles is available on the Department for Transport's website at

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-02-25 DfT-001


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